Director: Jonas Govaerts | Script: Trento The Hague Cast: Dimitri Thivaios (Noah Hazard), Jeroen Parceval (Carlos), Frank Lammers (Kludde), Jennifer Heylen (Lea), Monic Hendrickx (Mrs. Brasschaat), ea | Time to play: 88 minutes | Year: 2022
From the first second of H4Z4RD the style drips off the screen. Very direct, exaggerated and daring. Unusual glamor for the often bleaker palette of Flemish cinema. After a brief introduction from protagonist Noah, Jonas Govaerts immediately puts his foot on the throttle, never taking his foot off the gas for a second. Noah leaves with Carlos, but he has to pick up his daughter at four thirty sharp. It soon turns out that this was definitely not a good plan.
Noah’s life revolves around three things: his daughter Zita, his girlfriend Lea, and most of all his fully decked out express box. Noah’s sleek Lexus looks like it’s straight out of MTV pimp my ride rolled. Noah knows by heart all the roads and passages in Antwerp. With his car he does various jobs, some less legal than others. His brother Carlos is finally allowed to taste freedom again after three years in prison. He celebrates by going on tour with Noah, but this soon gets out of hand.
H4Z4RD it harbors an inventive way of filming that requires a lot of creativity. The entire runtime was filmed from Noah’s car. This sounds restrictive and could have been a gimmick, but it works very well due to a surprising number of camera angles. The ingenious use of zooms and the placement of the cameras are a lesson in the possibilities offered by such a small space. The Lexus is shown in all its ostentatious glory.
Despite the small size of H4Z4RD, the suspicion creeps in that every idea has been said yes, no matter how crazy the idea sounds. This gives the film a very playful character, but also ensures a completely chaotic viewing experience. The feeling of freedom and boldness runs through each shot, but sometimes a slightly more critical eye would have been welcome. Especially when it comes to humor, which at times is extremely banal. It works once in a while, but other times it doesn’t and then it goes on for too long.
Everything happens very quickly, without seeming rushed. The brief role of Frank Lammers contributes well to the bizarre story. Jeroen Parceval embodies chaos as brother Carlos. That could be a little less, because sadly his jokes never land. Newcomer Dimitri is the perfect counterpart as Noah, with subdued acting from him.
The perfectly chosen soundtrack also contributes to the bombastic and fast-paced feeling of H4Z4RD. With many classic hard trance songs from the 90s. The fast pace and recognizable melodies at times almost have a nostalgic effect. As a result, the frenetic pace is still high, and the pace is still good.
No matter how funny the action and how pronounced the style, this is at the expense of the story and the characters. That’s a conscious choice, but as a result the last act doesn’t have the desired impact. There are only sporadic hints about the backgrounds of the surface characters and their relationships with each other. The hood is very well made, but the contents under the lid are missing.
H4Z4RD sometimes it feels like the strangest fever dream. Because anything is possible, the movie becomes fun and unpredictable. No high-quality issues, issues, or topics are discussed, but Jonas Govaert certainly provides (simple) entertainment. Chaos, hectic and strange moments make H4Z4RD a memorable ride. Which, in addition to all the risqué and style galore, benefited from a bit more content and structure.
H4Z4RD can be seen in first video.