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.
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After receiving the news that his son has tragically died from a heroine overdoes, citizen of the year and snow plow driver, Nils (Stellan Skarsgard) sets out to disprove the official report. He steadily uncovers evidence of a turf war between sinister crime boss "The Count" and his rivals from Serbia. It is a turf war which claimed the life of his son, and therefore becomes his problem. Armed with all the tricks of the snow plow trade and a sawn-off hunting rifle, Nils wages his own, bitter war on the criminal underworld, racking up an impressive body count through shear beginner's luck.
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A simple soccer fan named Oscar Svendsen gets embroiled in a dark criminal underworld of dirty money and eye-watering violence after making a deadly mistake in splitting a huge soccer bet win of 1.7 million with his three pals. Going from having nothing to being seriously wealthy, it's easy for anyone to get over-zealous about their new situation, but Oscar soon learns that with great money comes great danger when a brutal gang starts murdering people left, right and centre. He know longer knows who he can trust anymore and he finds himself arrested and being interrogated by the police after awakening in a strip joint holding a shotgun. He's covered in blood and surrounded by eight corpses; he knows he is innocent, but he needs to convince the cops that he's only the witness rather than the perpetrator of this massacre.
As he recounts the story, Solor keeps stopping him when things begin to sound fishy, such as the involvement of a local gangster (Andersson). But the more we get to know the characters, the funnier the film gets. These guys are such chuckleheads that it's not surprising when things start to go downhill very quickly. And following Oscar into the increasing chaos is both amusing and outrageously nasty.
Hellum is terrific as a nice guy caught up in an unimaginable series of events that take one surreal twist after another. And writer-director Martens packs the film with continual sight gags and comical character details that make these guys both likeable and terrifying. Oscar's three colleagues are simply hilarious, as greed makes them turn on each other in random ways. And the script is especially well constructed, cleverly keeping us guessing about what might happen next.There are a couple of plot points that stretch credibility to the breaking point, but then this is a story about the way pure chance can change your life in ways you could never begin to expect. It's also an entertaining combination of comedy and thriller that makes us laugh one instant and cringe the next. And right to the very end, the story keeps twisting and turning, leading to a conclusion that's both corny and hugely satisfying.PICS: http://twitchfilm.com/news/ArmeRiddere.jpg http://www.norway.org/FileCache/Global/SiteFolders/webnew/jackpotnett.jpg/width_650.height_300.mode_FillAreaWithCrop.pos_Default.color_White.jpg http://www.theartsdesk.com/sites/default/files/images/stories/FILM/Jackpot-620x349.jpg
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest is the concluding part to the trilogy written by Stieg Larsson. Like the first two films (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire) The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest stars Noomi Rapace.
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