Re:View – ‘Nothing To Declare’
On the French-Belgium border the traffic’s building up, because Ruben (Benoit Belvoorde) is a rabid patriot determined to catch the ‘cheese-eating frogs’ who infringe the law, and is taking his role as customs officer way too seriously. His bosses know he goes to far, but it’s 1993 and the borders are about to come down forever.
So, in the final week, a joint Franco-Belge mobile unit is set up, and hapless Mathius (Dany Boon) volunteers to share the vehicle with the gun-toting Belgian madman in order to catch a gang of smugglers. He has an ulterior motive; for the past year he’s been secretly dating Ruben’s sister. And unbeknown to any of them, the local cafe where they all eat (and fight) is the HQ of the drug ring…
Boon is his usual self-effacing charmer, Belvoorde cleverly softens without losing his anger, and there’s a lovely car chase in a police vehicle that’s falling to bits. Boon seems to effortlessly create these smart, warm comedies that gently poke fun while making valid points without preaching. ‘Welcome To The Sticks’ did the same thing, and both hits, God help us, are up for Hollywood remakes. It would be better for all concerned if US audiences got used to subtitles, as the rest of the world does.