The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Vanished

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Allan Karlsson, on the verge of his 100th birthday, lets his beloved ginger cat out the window to do his feline business. Unfortunately, a fox murders the tabby. In revenge, Allan makes a treat for the fox: sausages laced with dynamite. When the fox takes the bait, fox, tabby, and an innocently bystanding shack get blown to Kingdom Come.

This lands Allan in a retirement home. It is not the first time in his long life that he has been confined to an institution, nor the first time he indulged his passion for blowing things up. So on his 100th birthday, Allan climbs out the window of his room and goes on walkabout, as the Aussies would say.

Sardonic, satiric, blackly comic, and wildly farcical, “The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” follows Allan’s misadventures in the present as he tangles with a biker mob and their $50 million suitcase of cash, an assortment of unlikely characters who are even more space cadets than the protagonist, and a cheerful elephant named Sonja. The action is interspersed with flashbacks of Allan’s past misadventures through World War II and the Cold War, featuring many historical personages in arch but inaccurate pastiches, and many explosions. It is all a cheerful cinematic homage to films like “Being There,” “Zelig” and “Forrest Gump.”

Based on the novel by Jonas Jonasson, the film by Felix Herngren had the highest-ever-recorded gross in its original release in Sweden last year. The star, Robert Gustafsson, is considered Sweden’s funniest man, a sort of Nordic Peter Sellers. He does a magnificent job of playing someone twice his age who never regrets the past and never worries about the future.

If your funnybone needs a tickle, catch this one. It opens April 24 in NYC.

Phil Neches

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