In Order of Disappearance

"Excellent"

In Order of Disappearance Review


This Norwegian revenge thriller may move at a steady, meandering pace, but it has such a sharp sense of pitch-black Scandinavian humour that it's never dull. As events spiral wildly out of control, the vivid characters are thoroughly entertaining in their misguided attempts at vengeance. And the snow-covered rural community offers an offbeat setting that's refreshingly bright and sunny rather than the usual gloomy grit.

At the centre of the story, Nils (Stellan Skarsgard) is a soft-spoken snowplow driver who keeps the country roads in Norway clear and quietly endures abuse over the fact that he's Swedish. When his grown son is found dead, he refuses to believe it was a drug overdose. Abandoned by his grieving wife, he launches his own investigation, following the trail and quietly killing each thug up the chain as he tracks down the swaggering hothead mob boss who calls himself The Count (Pal Sverre Hagen). Along the way, he gets help from his ex-gangster brother (Peter Andersson), inadvertently re-igniting the war between The Count and rival Serbian mobster Papa (Bruno Ganz), whose own son has been caught in the crossfire. And the body count grows exponentially.

The title refers to on-screen captions that offer a brief moment of respect for each person who dies along the way, which intriguingly puts every act of violence in perspective. This is mainly because the film's central theme is fathers and sons. The Count may be a racist/sexist monster who despises his trophy ex-wife (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen), but he also has an eerily warm bond with his own son. And as these three fathers - Nils, The Count and Papa - circle each other, this paternal theme adds some unexpected resonance to the comical nastiness. All three actors are terrific, combining tenacity and emotion with riotously incorrect actions and attitudes. But of course it's the superb Skarsgard we are rooting for.

Director Hans Petter Moland (A Somewhat Gentle Man) and writer Kim Fupz Aakeson (Perfect Sense) keep the story from turning into a full-on action thriller. There are moments of outrageous chaos along the way, including some grisly nastiness, but thankfully the worst is left to our imaginations. Even the one full-on gunfight is played for mad desperation rather than bloodthirsty machismo. And by continually reminding us that everyone who dies is a human being with a family, the film becomes much more than a black comedy. It's a pointed exploration of the nature of community in the Western world, wrapped in one of the most entertainingly nutty thrillers of the year.



In Order of Disappearance

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 116 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st February 2014

Production compaines: Paradox Produksjon

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Finn Gjerdrum, Stein B. Kvae

Starring: as Nils, as Papa, as Strike, Jakob Oftebro as Aron Horowitz, Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen as Greven, as Nebojša, Tobias Santelmann as Finn, Anders Baasmo Christiansen as Geir, Stig Henrik Hoff as Experienced police officer, Atle Antonsen as Reddersen, Jon Øigarden as Karsten, Arthur Berning as Police man 2, Goran Navojec as Stojan, David Sakurai as Kinamann, Jan Gunnar Røise as Jappe, Miodrag Krstović as Dragomir, Kåre Conradi as Ronaldo, Hildegun Riise as Gudrun, Leo Ajkic as Radovan, Bjørn Moan as Fred Remi, Martin Furulund as Sverre, Nils-Fredrik Tveter as Gabriel

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