“An energetic, twisted, colorful and wickedly violent ride” - Neil Miller, FILM SCHOOL REJECTS
Reformed criminal Jos Vreeswijk (Raymond Thiry) is all set to wed his fiancée Caroline (Kim van Kooten). Unfortunately, his memory of last night’s bachelor party is non-existent — so he has no explanation for the corpse and firearm found lying next to him. Jos barely has time to get his head straight when he is suddenly kidnapped by Vlad, a Russian ex-ballet dancer who found his second calling in organized crime. He gives Jos 24 hours to retrieve the drugs he supposedly stole from him. Confused and stressed out about is upcoming wedding, Jos is forced to ask his old friends Bobbie (Bas Keijzer) and Coca Inez (Renee Fokker) to help him out of this pickle that is quickly snowballing out of proportion. What the hell happened? Where could Jos have put the drugs? Did he really steal them in the first place? Every time Jos tries to remember something about this hectic night, all he gets is a total BLACK OUT.
While BLACK OUT is Arne Toonen’s second feature as a director, it’s his first venture as a screenwriter, and he doesn’t miss a beat. With the help of Mell Runderkamp’s pen, Tooten delivers a production reminiscent of the early works of Guy Ritchie (SNATCH) or Lasse Spang Olsen (IN CHINA THEY EAT DOGS), in which he mixes together several amusingly charismatic characters: Petra and Charity, the duo hired by Charles to retrieve his money; Bjorn and Wally, two low-level criminals aspiring to play with the big boys; and Coca Inez, a walking cocaine encyclopedia who can recite offhand the drug’s origin, purity and resale value.
Arne Toonen compliments his colourful characters with a dynamic editing style and explosive art direction that weave together a suspenseful crime comedy brought to life by actors directed with unmatched dexterity. While the film ultimately stands on Raymond Thiry’s shoulders, he is aptly supported by memorable performances from Renee Fokker, Bas Keijzer and Simon Armstrong. BLACK OUT is another pleasant surprise from the Netherlands, a nation whose cinema continues to impress by producing young talent with only one goal in mind: keeping us entertained.
— Éric S. Boisvert