‘Get Duked’ (originally titled ‘Boyz in The Wood’) is the directorial debut of Ninian Doff, who comes from music video background. ‘Get Duked’ is a British black comedy/ thriller that is both funny and thrilling while also being a satirical commentary on class and generation divide and even racism, without being preachy. It is fresh, fun, quirky, fast-paced, and set to a great hip-hop score. We’ve broken down the ending of ‘Get Duked’ for you, so if you have not yet watched this film, please stop reading and head over to Amazon Prime first. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
The movie opens with an old educational video explaining what the Duke of Edinburgh Award is, and how youngsters can achieve it to cushion their resumes with extra padding. Set up in 1956 by Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh Award is a laminated certificate given to trouble-making youths who complete an outdoor adventure challenge to emerge as better citizens. This video is being shown to three bored-looking teenage boys who are promptly transferred to a minibus and on their way to the Scottish Highlands. Apparently, they have to do this as punishment for blowing up a school toilet. Typical juvenile delinquent stuff.
The boys are accompanied by Mr. Carlyle (Jonathan Aris) who is an outdoors education teacher. When they arrive in the Highlands, the three miscreants – the group’s leader-with-a-bad-rep Dean (Rian Gordon), half-baked dolt Duncan (Lewis Gribben), and hip-hop-loving hooligan DJ Beatroot (Viraj Juneja) – realize there is a fourth among them – home-schooled college aspirant Ian, who actually wants to complete the nature hike and get the laminated certificate. The boys have to spend three nights in the Scottish Highlands with just their wits (and no cellphone reception!), demonstrate teamwork, foraging and orienteering skills, and reach the campsite to meet up with Mr.Carlyle at the end. Things go wrong when Dean uses their only map to roll a hash joint, and then take a turn for the worse when a mask-wearing, gun-crazy, seemingly aristocratic old man (Eddie Izzard) and his equally crazy, sword-wielding elitist wife (Georgie Glen) appear out of nowhere and start shooting at the boys. The rest of the movie is basically a drawn-out cat and mouse chase between the boys and the oldie puritans (who want to “cull the vermin so that the crops may thrive”).
There is also a sub-plot involving two wildly racist police officers who, instead of looking for the elusive bread thief, want to get promoted by catching a pedophilic terrorist gang (which does not actually exist).
The Ending, Explained
After a crazy scary night of running for their lives, the boys manage to thwart the tweed-wearing killers and scare them away. Sometime in the middle of the movie, they had all separated, with Ian left behind to fend for himself with an injured ankle, Dean and Duncan eating powdered soup in a cave, and DJ Beatroot becoming a legend to hip-hop loving farmers. When they all regroup, they decide the only way to finish this is for the hunted to become the hunters and kill the “Duke and Duchess”. This plan especially makes sense, seeing as how during the tussle of the night before, the boys had managed to wrestle the oldies’ weapons from them.
Meanwhile, the two police officers decide to go rogue, after their superintendent forces them to go back to the case of the decade – the bread thief.
For the final showdown, the boys (now emboldened by their procurement of a rifle, a sword, and a well-sharp fork, and super high on rabbit poop) chase the old duke and duchess through some tunnels and out again beside a lake. The old aristocrats then proceed to explain to the teens why they have to kill the troublemakers to keep control of the herd, and also list out the many problems with the young generation in a thoroughly exasperated yet mildly amused manner.
After listening to their crazy rant about “kids these days this” and “kids these days that”, Dean pops his lid and displays unexpected depth as he gives them a piece of his own mind. Dean delivers a passionate speech about how the previous generation’s mindlessly selfish exploitation of their planet’s resources is now forming difficulties for the newer generations and they will have to bear the brunt of their ancestors’ actions. He talks at length about how nothing comes easy for his generation, but the old couple just laughs it off and smile indulgently as sounds of other posh accents emerge from the tunnel’s entrance.
Soon, the boys are surrounded by a bunch of old people who talk about killing them like it’s something they do for fun on picnics. They all even gather around for a photo and hand the camera to one of the boys. It looks like the end for the teens when suddenly, fate intervenes, and they are saved as their minivan falls off the overhead cliff and right on top of the oldies, instantly killing everyone. It is important to note that this is the same minibus in which the boys, earlier in the movie, had stuffed Mr. Carlyle’s dead body and tried to run it off a cliff but it had slipped off the slope in the opposite direction.
The boys discover that Mr. Carlyle is still alive (if quite in a bad shape), and he is going to fail them for the award because they’d run him over with the minibus earlier (thinking he had been the masked hunter). Luckily, the two racist police officers arrive on the scene and find the stolen bread in the minibus. The boys are quick to cover for Mr. Carlyle and put the blame on the bunch of oldies squished to a pulp under the minibus. Thankful, Mr. Carlyle agrees to pass them for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The film ends with the boys handing over their weapons to a group of girls embarking on the same adventure and telling the bewildered girls to “give ’em hell”.
Even though there is not much to the story, the movie does a good job of outlining the very profound generational differences and the older gen’s reluctance to take responsibility for their actions. The film’s narrative takes the age-old debate of which generation is better to a whole new psycho level. The boys make for good (even if a little simple-minded) heroes that we have no trouble rooting for and Mr. Carlyle’s secret fetish for bread makes for a surprising twist that none of us see coming. All in all, a delightfully thrilling watch.
Read More: Where Was Get Duked Filmed?