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directed by Peter Lindmark
Sweden 2006

 

Just as venture capital company Nova Distribution plans a profitable "exit" from successful IT company Cathaegis by selling off to a less ethical competitor, executive Thomas Skepphult (Mads Mikkelsen, CASINO ROYALE) becomes the prime suspect in the murder of his partner/mentor Wilhelm Rahmberg (Borje Ahlstedt, FANNY & ALEXANDER) who had just decided to retire and turn over the reigns to him. Especially incriminating - in the opinion of investigator Diana Malm (Ia Langhammer, MOTHER OF MINE) - is an old contract that specifies that if one partner dies, the other can buy his shares for two million kroner (the company's investments are worth ten billion now with the Cahtaegis), and Thomas' fingerprints are on the murder weapon, a crowbar possibly stolen from his own garage. Thomas, however, has been receiving calls from a man claiming to be Morgan Nordenstrale (Samuel Froler, EXECUTIVE PROTECTION), the man whose "unacceptable methods" acquired Cathaegis in the first place and blew his head off when the company fired him. When Nordenstrale threatens his family, Thomas goes on the run to protect them, relying on the help of dutiful assistant Fabian (Alexander Skarsgard, TRUE BLOOD) to track Nordenstrale since the police do not believe Thomas' claims. Like any cut-throat businessman, Thomas at first tries to use his contacts to help him prove his innocence - including relying upon the legal representation of a fierce rival (Johan Rabaeus, FAITHLESS) in exchange for a lucrative deal - but eventually needs to get his own hands dirty simply to survive.

What starts out as a sleek thriller about the cut-throat business world quickly devolves into the type of cat-and-mouse thriller that is higher on the chase than the shocking revelations. Mikkelsen going through the motions while his underwhelming blackmailer/tormentor slaps around lackeys and tries to look sinister (especially to himself as he glares into his shaving mirror), with occasional cutaways to the investigation by the usually thick detectives (the UK release also highlights the presence of Skarsgard, but he doesn't get much opportunity to express any range until the third act). It's all quite familiar with no real surprises - including the final reversal - other than putting the shoe on the other foot for a bit during the dark-house-stalk-and-chase-and-conflagration climax. The alternative rock end credits song goes against the tone of the rest of the soundtrack, but feels very much a part of the thriller template around which this story is structured.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 6 October 2006 (Sweden)

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DVD Review: Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:40:00 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Swedish/Danish/English Dolby Digital 5.1; Swedish/Danish/English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Making-of (16:9; 27:44)
• Start-up trailers for THE HUNT and FALSE TRAIL

DVD Release Date: July 8th, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Arrow's affordably-priced dual-layer encoding looks quite unattractive at times, but that seems to be the fault of the HDCAM lensing (the film was shot on a Sony CineAlta camera with one of those spinning ground-glass 35mm adapters and then later scanned to film). The 5.1 and 2.0 stereo downmix tracks are much slicker in comparison. The English subtitles are mostly error free apart from one glaring misspelling of a company name spelled correctly several other times and an occasional grammatical error ("The police doesn't believe you").

The sole extra is a making-of in which Mikkelsen quite accurately describes himself as being like an "innocent Harrison Ford character". The featurette also includes contributions not only from the screenwriter/director but also the two authors of the source novel - both having worked at an IT investment company - who feel that film improves on weak points in the novel. Around the half-way point, Skarsgard observes jokingly - but accurately - that the interview session is becoming a "backslapping exercise", but the behind the scenes shoot does offer some glimpses that suggest the shoot was more low-budget than the film looks. The glimpses of the on-set stunts includes one impressive bit that I assumed was achieved with CGI while watching the film, as well as Mikkelsen taking what looks like a quite painful fall when running in handcuffs). The disc also features start-up trailers for THE HUNT (also starring Mikkelsen and seeming like a more action-oriented version of ACCUSED) and FALSE TRAIL.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

 

 



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