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Posts Tagged ‘Stellan Skarsgard’

Stellan Skarsgard

Stellan Skarsgard

“IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE”  My rating: B-

116 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Avoid pissing off civil servants. They have so many ways to get even.

In the Norwegian thriller “In Order of Disappearance” a nondescript  snowplow driver  (apparently it’s a year-around gig in parts of that Scandinavian nation) goes on a methodical killing spree to avenge his son’s murder.

As Hans Petter Moland’s film begins, Nils Dickman (Stellan Skarsgard) is being honored as his tiny burg’s Citizen of the Year. He’s a hard-working, inoffensive sort who gets up early every morning to clear the roads in his mountainous district — “Just a guy who keeps a strip of civilization open through the wilderness.”  For fun he reads technical manuals for heavy-duty snow removal equipment.

But when his son is found dead — apparently of a drug overdose — Dickman refuses accept the official police version of events. He discovers that his boy was collateral damage in a drug smuggling conspiracy operating out of the snowbound regional airport where the kid worked maintenance.

So this working stiff nearing retirement saws down his hunting rifle (so that it can be concealed beneath his snow parka) and systematically begins working his way up the food chain of the local drug gang. He dumps the bodies in a scenic waterfall.

Kim Fupz Akeson’s screenplay is a balancing act between genuine outrage/grief and black comedy ala Tarantino and the Coen Brothers. Skarsgard plays it straight — he’s a man on a mission — but the crooks he picks off one by one are flamboyantly offbeat.

The main baddie is The Count (Pal Sverre Hagen), a preening, pony-tailed sociopath art collector who, when he’s not giving orders to have people killed, is advocating for veganism.

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Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris

Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris

“OUR KIND OF TRAITOR” My rating: B-

107 minutes | MPAA rating: R

With “Our Kind of Traitor” Hollywood may have gone to the John le Carré well one too many times.

It’s not that the feature from director Susanna White (“Nanny McPhee Returns” and a whole load of TV)  is bad.

It just feels overly familiar. PBS, cable channels, Amazon and Netflix seem awash in Brit espionage fare, particularly titles with the le Carré pedigree. “Our Kind of Hero” tends to get lost in the mix.

Stellan Skarsgaard

Stellan Skarsgaard

Brit couple Perry (Ewan McGregor), a university lecturer, and his girlfriend Gail (Naomie Harris), an attorney, are vacationing in Marrakesh. Alas, the exotic setting is doing little to alleviate their relationship issues.  Having sex seems like more of a chore than a pleasure.

Soloing at a local restaurant, Perry is befriended by Dima (Stellan Skarsgard), a garrulous Russian accompanied by a bunch of fellow Russkies whose sharp clothes do little to disguise their thuggish demeanors.

Dima drafts the reluctant Perry for a night of clubbing. The next day he schedules a tennis game with his new bud. And Dima introduces Perry and Gail to his family (wife, three or four kids).

Anyone who’s ever seen a spy thriller knows that the unsuspecting Englishman is going to get in way over his head.

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