Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993 at the time of the heaviest fighting between the two warring sides. Two soldiers from opposing sides in the conflict, Nino and Ciki, become trapped in no man's land, whilst a third soldier becomes a living booby trap.
A newspaper photographer, Jean, researches the lurid and sensational axe murder of two women in 1873 as an editorial tie-in with a brutal modern double murder. She discovers a cache of ... See full summary »
The Hotel Splendide is on a remote and cold island, accessible only by a once-a-month ferry. It's a dark and dreary spa created by the late Dame Blanche, whose grown children now run the ... See full summary »
In the near future, where Earth has been devastated by natural disasters, and giant winds rule the planet, bounty hunter Matt kidnaps a murderer out of the hands of two police officers, ... See full summary »
Catherine is a no-nonsense police sergeant who heads up a team of officers in a rural Yorkshire valley. When a staged kidnapping spirals out of control turning into a brutal series of ... See full summary »
This is a rare Finnish attempt at a mid-Atlantic thriller with international finance. Mid-Atlantic even in the sense that the story concerns a freighter named, lest anyone miss the point, Pandora, which is carrying a load of unspecified toxic waste and as a result has been banned from every port. Harassed by environmental activists and virtually abandoned by the multinational corporation that owns her, she roams the seas between refuelling points like a modern-day Flying Dutchman, while the crew start to crack up and plan mutiny.
However, from this interesting premise the film soon deteriorates into a fairly standard and clumsy stalk-around-the-ship thriller with people dying and Beck's tough captain trying to hold the mutinous crew at bay and keep track of Cartlidge's captured activist who doesn't relish the idea of becoming a rape-toy for the feral seamen. The somewhat twitchy narrative (possible due to cuts ordered by the producer) may be one factor, but the ultimate problem lies with Küttner's EBU award-winning script that mixes genuine invention with B-movie cast-offs. The conflict and the script's most interesting thread, the question about the true nature of Pandora's cargo, resolve in the weak finale with bargain-basement mysticism and pyrotechnics. Meanwhile the sub-plot about an American journalist and her boss investigating the corporate machinations behind the affair dwindles embarrassingly into a resigned statement that "corporations rule the world" (now who could've thought of that?). The idea may have been to create a sense of overwhelming mystery and individual impotence in the face of unknown forces throwing the cursed ship and her crew around, but now it all comes across as a cynical cop-out to conclude the story's confused journey.
In the true mid-Atlantic fashion, the characterisation doesn't much remind you of the film's origins, apart from the few Finnish words uttered by Hirvikangas' seaman. The mainly British cast go through their paces without much loss or gain, though the principal actors probably try too much for their own good. Beck grimaces and sneers his way through his role so straight that it borders on comic, but I almost feel sorry for Firth, who with almost painful sincerity hams up his role as the first officer who has cracked under pressure and believes the cargo is some divine element that will usher in a new age on Earth. The Americans are portrayed with all the stereotypical superficiality that Hollywood generally grants to the rest of the human race.
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