“Aaltra” is a one-joke movie but what a great joke: jerks in wheelchairs (Funnier than you’d think). The jerks were jerks when they were still just neighbors feuding over stupid little things that neighbors feud over. One’s a lug of a farmer and the other fancies himself as being on the fast track to corporate success. Their hatred of each other escalates until they’re both injured catastrophically in a tractor accident while fighting. Because it’s a movie the two find themselves side by side in the hospital.
From there this Belgian farce wings its way into complete fantasy with that one joke holding things together. Neither man has any kind of grand realization as the result of their injury and may in fact be even more grating and stupid than ever.
But off they go, wheeling themselves down freeways and through the French countryside to find Aaltra, the Finnish company that built the tractor that did them in. True, the joke wears pretty thin as these two rude, inconsiderate men in wheelchairs repeatedly take advantage of people who only want to help them. Hysterically, one guy explodes that “It’s people like you that give people in fucking wheelchairs a bad name.”
The movie requires a fairly significant suspension of disbelief but delivers one of the best punchlines I’ve seen in a movie. I won’t ruin that here. But I will try to persuade you to see this ridiculous, nasty little piece of work just to get to that hysterically funny closing scene.