‘Get Duked!’ Is The Summer Movie We All Need Right Now

Let’s face it, the 2020 Summer movie season has been, well, non-existent. Instead of munching copious amounts of popcorn and sucking down giant sodas, most of us have been cooped up at home, waiting out a deadly pandemic. There have been a few releases here or there, usually going straight to VOD or streaming services, and for this year, that will have to do. The latest film to go the streaming route is Get Duked!, which is available now on Amazon’s Prime Video. And for what had been the strangest summer of my lifetime, this film might very well be the best movie of the season.

Get Duked! is the story of four teens in Scotland who go on an overnight trip to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Challenge, which teaches the nation’s youth survival skills, like team work, orienteering, and foraging. Think of it like a fitness test for boy scouts.

The four boys, Ian (Samuel Bottomley), Dean (Rian Gordon), Duncan (Lewis Gribben) and DJ Beatroot (Virah Juneja) are a mismatched group. In school, three of them are mates and outcasts, and Ian is a smart, shy kid at the back of the class that no one ever acknowledges. Their teacher, Mr. Carlyle (Jonathan Aris), drives them out to the middle of the Scottish Highlands and gives them a map to the campsite, leaving the boys to figure the rest out themselves.

The teens of Get Duked!

Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Lewis Gribben, and Rian Gordon star in GET DUKED!

Unbeknownst to the teens, they are being hunted by masked hunters, The Duke (Eddie Izzard) and the Duchess (Georgie Glen), who hate teens and take it upon themselves to “thin the heard” of society by culling youngsters taking the challenge.

What follows is nearly 90 minutes of sheer insanity and laugh-out-loud moments as the battle for survival encompasses the local cops, a group of sheep farmers, a runaway white van, powdered soup mix, and copious amounts of rabbit poop.

The script by writer-director Ninian Doff stacks Get Duked! with comedy in very smart ways. The jokes land, primarily because they are played as straight and the humor comes from the situations. No one bats an eye when the local constables drop an important investigation of a local bread thief to investigate what could be zombie terrorist drug dealers hiding out in the Highlands.

The hunters look to "thin the herd"

There are sight gags, as well as a level of absurdity that recalls films like Jojo Rabbit and Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy. There is even some classic Bugs Bunny-type humor, and it all works. All of it.

The cast is near perfect, and besides some familiar faces from the Game of Thrones series, most of the names and faces are new to audiences — for now.

I found myself laughing out loud to the point of needing to pause the film to collect myself. Yes, it’s that funny. Get Duked! is a much appreciated film, one that we all need right now. In what has been a lost summer movie season, this little film from Scotland has restored hope where there was none, and I can’t wait to watch it again and again now that it’s available on Prime Video.

Get Duked! is rated R and is available to stream now on Amazon Prime Video.

Get Duked! is available now on Amazon Prime Video
out of 5

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