Men & Chicken (2016)
Directed by Anders Thomas Jensen
In Denmark, comedies are dark. So dark comedies are downright disturbing. Enter “Men & Chicken.”
Mads Mikkelsen, from NBC’s “Hannibal,” plays Elias, a compulsory masturbator and unemployed sleezeball. His brother Gabriel (David Dencik) is more successful, at least professionally. He went to school and became a professor. But his harelip and his odd brother kept his few girlfriends from staying long. When their father dies, he leaves them a video explaining that they were both adopted, and gives them the name of their biological father. When they go to visit, they stumble upon quite a family secret. But with the ferry only operable every few days, they’re stuck in the dilapidated home of their blood relatives a little longer than they might prefer.
“Men & Chicken,” written by director Anders Thomas Jensen, is full of deadpan quips and screwball physical gags. Mikkelsen is cast so far against type as the real comic relief, the one we might be able to relate to—if we can relate to any. But then, the whole movie is sort of against type. You certainly can’t call it unoriginal. As a comedy, it’s hit or miss. But beyond that, the uncomfortable family dynamic makes “Men & Chicken” a movie unlike any you’ve ever seen. That’s an understatement.