(directed by Morten Tyldum, 2012)
**** (out of 5)
> Oh man, was this good! I generally don’t like to like movies as violent as this, but when it’s done as well as Morten Tyldum does it here, all resistance becomes futile and I will be assimilated into the film.
. The protagonist here is another anti-hero. A rich shyster with a beautiful trophy wife, Roger Brown lives the life of Reilly in opulence and privilege. Forever compensating for his short stature, (disturbingly, exactly the same as mine!), Roger lives a double-life as a sophisticated art thief. But Roger’s beautiful world is fraying and the debts keep piling up, as he lives far beyond his means to impress his wife and play the role he has cast himself in. He’s getting secretly desperate, when a huge opportunity presents itself: the chance to steal a truly great piece of art that will fetch perhaps a hundred million dollars on the black market! But when he enters the empty flat and begins the process of substituting a fake for the authentic canvas, a cellphone rings. It is on a nightstand next to a rumpled bed and it’s his wife’s phone! She is carrying on an illicit affair with the man he is robbing!
. Not so good. But it gets worse. Much, much worse… Every time things seem about as bad as they can possibly get for Roger Brown (a sympathetic Aksel Hennie), another kick to the groin is coming. You really begin to root for this poor guy as he struggles hard to survive, while stalked by a terrifyingly lethal nemesis, played by the handsome and very familiar Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (BLACKTHORN, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BLACKHAWK DOWN, ENIGMA, OBLIVION), an actor with real star quality. We watch as Roger gradually changes from arrogant bastard to humbled man. Certainly, the character is a very different man by the end than he was at the beginning, and it is this transition that makes the film interesting.
. Did I mention this film is Norwegian? It’s Norwegian and subtitled. Don’t let that deter you. It’s so damn good- one big rush from start to finish! Check it out.
* * *
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