In commemoration of the upcoming American remake, COLD PURSUIT (2019), I’ve decided to check out the original that it’s based on.
The story looks like it’s about a mild-mannered father who finds out his son just died, and worse, was a drug dealer. Unable to standby and do nothing, he goes on a revenge spree to find the man who killed his son.
Cast: Stellan Skarsgård (MAMMA MIA  and 2 , OUR KIND OF TRAITOR , AVENGERS  and ULTRON , and THOR  and DARK WORLD ), Pål Sverre Hagen (GIRL/WEB , and upcoming films AMUNDSEN  and HALO OF STARS ), Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (PITCH PERFECT 2 ), Bruno Ganz (THE PARTY ), and Anders Baasmo Christiansen (stuff I’ve either never heard of or seen)
Director: Hans Petter Moland (stuff I’ve either never heard of or seen)
Writer: Kim Fupz Aakeson (stuff I’ve either never heard of or seen)
Composers: Brian Batz (stuff I’ve either never heard of or seen), Kaspar Kaae (stuff I’ve either never heard of or seen), and Kåre Vestrheim (stuff I’ve either never heard of or seen)
Cinematographer: Philip Øgaard (stuff I’ve either never heard of or seen)
Editor: Jens Christian Fodstad (stuff I’ve either never heard of or seen)
This is my honest opinion of: KRAFTIDIOTEN / IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE
Set in the (fictional) town of Tyos, Norway. Nils Dickman (Stellan Skarsgård) is a snowplow driver who has recently been awarded citizen of the year. However, his celebrations are cut short when he is informed that his son, Ingvar (Aron Eskeland), has died. However, the cause of death, overdose, doesn’t sit right with Nils. Overcome with grief, he is about is kill himself when a friend of Ingvar fesses up to the truth: that Ingvar was murdered. Nils begins his bloody journey for revenge against the Ole “Count” Forsby.
Yeah, alright. I dig this film.
Considering that I associate Skarsgård with comedic roles, I never would have guessed to see him as a bad-ass. Turns out, he plays the role quite well. But he’s not really over-the-top about it. What I love about his performance is that he still plays his action scenes like a mild-mannered nobody. He doesn’t explode with anger at the bad guys, outside of the assaults on their faces and shooting them. He’s almost calm with every encounter and it’s kind of fascinating.
The story is actually pretty fun as well. There’s the main focus on Nils and his revenge trip, but then things escalate to the point where Ole thinks that the people responsible for his missing henchmen are the Serbians, whom they have an agreement to use the local airport as a hub for drug smuggling and now believes that the Serbians want to muscle in on the Norwegian territory, which isn’t the case. So they kill a henchman of theirs, which turns out to the son of the head of the Serbian gangsters, a fact that they didn’t know. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before they realize truths, making for a pretty satisfying climax.
I won’t necessarily call this a positive, or a negative, but the only character that I couldn’t decide how I felt about was Ole. Now don’t get me wrong, Hagen does a great job bouncing between being a hammy gangster and a threatening one, but it’s hard to take the leader of a ruthless and merciless gang seriously when he’s got a ponytail. I kept thinking to myself that even though his gangster name is “Count,” I would have personally made fun of the dick-weed by giving him the name “Starbucks.” He seriously looks like a Starbucks employee and because of his occasional childish acting and near-tantrums, I didn’t think he always fit in this dark setting. He’s certainly amusing when he needs to be, but I don’t know, something about his placement in this movie felt disjointed.
And I gotta give a shout-out to my favorite Danish actress, (because I know so many?) Sørensen, who plays Ole’s ex-wife Marit, who seems to be the perfect character for me whenever she shares screen time with Ole. She never takes him seriously and is never once intimidated by him. Hey hey, it’s exactly how I felt about him! I couldn’t help but laugh at her apathy in his presence. Why isn’t this woman in more shit? Why is her most well-known flick PITCH PERFECT 2? I hate that so much. Hollywood, notice her, please!
However, I do have some legit negatives toward the film.
Knowing what they do with Rune (Jack Sødahl Moland), I kind of don’t like the character they ended up giving him. For much of the film, he was just Ole’s son. A kind of throwaway character that you knew was going to eventually get mixed up in all of this, but as a standard kid-in-distress. Thing is, they actually kind of give him a personality in the final act and… I sort of think Rune is dumb. I mean, what kid in 2014 would actually buy into the story of “Your mother sent me to pick you up.” That’s about the brightest neon red flag that can shoot up in this day and age. Even once he realizes that he’s being kidnapped, he doesn’t put up a fight or anything. Quite literally, he asks his captor to read him a bedtime story and, I shit you not, snuggles up to his captor’s arm. Jesus, I think Dennis the Menace was a more convincing hostage.
And I know that the movie is toted around like it’s a dark comedy, but I have to ask… is it really? I mean, a ton of action movies have a little comedy thrown in, but I don’t think I get how that makes this movie a dark comedy. The closest thing to offbeat humor that I found was when Marit leaves Ole as he’s going on a tantrum, all while he’s sitting on a chair that’s in the shape of a theater comedy mask. It’s… not as obvious as it thinks it is. Maybe it’s a Norwegian thing? I don’t know, I kind of just saw this as an action revenge thriller.
Overall, I liked this movie. Yeah, it’s got a couple of problems here and there, or things that I didn’t agree with, but for the most part, this is a pretty fun movie. I don’t think it does anything particularly special for the genre, but I don’t need every movie to shake things up, so long as the movie has relatable characters and violence, of which I get plenty of. As a recommendation, yeah, I say give this a watch. It’s playing on Netflix, so there’s some pretty easy access to see the movie now.
My honest rating for KRAFTIDIOTEN / IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE: 4/5