A timid man gets the chance to make himself a better man in this crazy South African action-comedy.
Daniel Niemand is having the worst day of his life. Work has not been going well. He gets into a mishap on his way to his cousin’s house. To make matters worse, his wife announces she is leaving him for their marriage counselor. When his boss, Frank, learns of what has happened to Daniel in terms of his wife, he convinces Daniel to confront the marriage counselor, Schalk. When he confronts him, Schalk convinces Daniel to hit him and after accidentally hitting him in the throat, Daniel nearly saves him until Frank intervenes and has Schalk killed.
When Daniel is framed for Schlak’s murder, police captain Acker sees Daniel and knows that he cannot be responsible at all. Knowing for sure Frank is not only responsible and perhaps, will try to get Daniel killed, Acker decides to send Daniel to witness protection. Enter Lt. Erica Kruger, the top protector in the program. She will go through any means to make sure the witness is protected, or so Daniel will believe. When she nearly kills him, she is only stopped by Frank’s brother who she kills. Daniel soon finds himself in a predicament that will change his life forever.
This is a wild and wacky South African action-comedy that has shades of a buddy comedy pitting a timid man whose life is destroyed with a tough as nails police officer who tends to want to kill her witnesses, accusing them of certain crimes before killing them. However, these two soon learn that they must rely on each other as they are both stuck with a common enemy in the form of an over-the-top goofy villain who just happens to be the boss of the timid man.
Bennie Fourie, who was the comic relief Hermann in the very excellent Die Pro, churns out one of his bst roles in Daniel, a very shy man whose world comes crumbling down. I mean this guy is the epitome of a bad life. His own mother sees him as a disgrace and it’s bad when she supports her daughter-in-law’s affair with the marriage counselor. To his family, Daniel is a nobody and they couldn’t care less. They seem him as nothing more than back burner fodder. This film gets to see Daniel change himself from being shy timid loser to strong-minded man who won’t take any more crap when he is forced into witness protection.
The wonderful Marlee van der Merwe is strong-willed and shows her tough and beauty style as Lt. Erica Kruger. She may be a cop, but she does have the makings of a femme fatale. She promises to protect witnesses, but her actions prove differently. She lures men to go for a skinny dip near a waterfall, her outlet of peace, before killing the witness dead. However, in the case of Daniel, it is when she is stopped by Frank’s brother that she is forced to go after him, which in turns becomes the catalyst for Daniel’s transformation. It is after virtually being kidnapped herself by Daniel, she soon realizes and respects him, something she never does with her other “witnesses”.
Frank Opperman brings a funny over the top performance as Frank Redelinghuys, Daniel’s boss who is also a notorious crime boss unbeknownst to our protagonist. James Borthwick plays Acker, the police captain who plans to retire but wants to nail Frank before retiring and uses Daniel as bait, much to the chagrin of Erica and fellow cop Xander, played by Laudo Liebenberg, who is actually a mole for Frank. The third act, which shows Daniel fully transforming into a more strong-minded individual taking matters into his own hands with Erica as they head to his cousin’s wedding and ends up in a showdown with Frank, his goons, and the policemen in an abandoned church.
Nobody Dies is a fun and wild ride that brings together a timid man and a femme fatale cop as they face off against a common over-the-top loony villain. Bennie Fourie and Marlee van der Merwe are exciting to watch in this one.
WFG RATING: B+
A Marche Media production. Director: Quentin Krog. Producers: Wikus du Toit, Jaco Smit, and Roelof Storm. Writers: Sean Robert Daniels, Quentin Krog, and Frannie van der Walt; story by Daniels, Krog, and Herman Binge; based on the novel “Ander Mens” by Zirk van den Berg. Cinematography: Jacques Koudstaal. Editing: Eva du Preez.
Cast: Bennie Fourie, Marlee van der Merwe, Frank Opperman, Laudo Liebenberg, Andrew Weideman, Roeline Daneel, Jana Cilliers, Phillip Hotz, Lida Botha, Tim Theron, Lika Nerning, Clyde Berning, Tertius Meintjes.