|Index||9 reviews in total|
I'm not going to spoil anything. So I won't go into any details about
the story. I hate when people do that.
Here we have an Icelandic thriller that kept you excited right from the beginning to the very end. I absolutely loved the story, it was fresh and original and distinctively better than most Icelandic films that have tried to depict the dark side of Reykjavík (Iceland's capital). Looking back at films made over 10 years ago, such as "Nei er ekkert svar", it's simply astounding to see how far Icelandic film making has come. This really is an A-level action thriller which I found to be more entertaining than most movies in the similar genre I've seen during the past months. I think the director did an excellent job and Baltasar Kormákur should seriously consider acting more alongside directing because he shows and proves it beyond any doubt that he is one of Iceland's greatest actors. Iceland could of course use more actors because you kind of see the same faces over and over again, every time a film is made. However, when a film is as well casted as this one, one forgets that very quickly. All characters had found their way to just the right people. I must give kudos to Baltasar, Lilja, Ingvar, Þröstur, Ólafur, Jörundur, Victor... Jeez, just all of you. Thank you for a superb film.
Highly recommended, see it as soon as possible.
When I looked up this film on IMDb to comment on it, I noticed that there is already talk of a remake with Mark Wahlberg. It doesn't surprise me that major studios would turn to this thriller, which depicts an unusual and interesting milieu and tells its story with great suspense, warmth and humor. Although, as an art historian, I cannot recommend the negligent treatment of a Jackson Pollock painting in this movie. It's kind of sad that the remake means that this Icelandic movie will not get the attention it deserves in other countries. The acting was excellent, the directing impeccable, and the story well-crafted with interesting characters.
When I watched the American Contraband movie, I had no idea it was
based on this movie, because I hadn't watched it back then. Of course
the minute Contraband came out on DVD some clever marketing guy thought
of releasing this movie too and label it with the tag "movie Contraband
was based on". Since I liked the the other Contraband, I thought I'd
give it a try.
And it is more than apparent that Contraband uses most of this movie as a blueprint. This one though, is leaner and faster. A frenetic pace that might leave some people behind. I like it when people can tell you the same thing, but quicker.. In this case though the remake did improve on some points. One of them is the ending. It doesn't make any sense, even if it is meant to be a joke, they should know better than that. The relationships get explored more in the remake, which on the downside make them a bit cheesy of course.
Tough to say what you might like more. I always think it's good to see the original first and then the remake. But that is up to you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Reykavik-Rotterdam has its moments, and lead actor Baltasar Kormákur
does a pretty good job of maintaining a continuity through the film ...
but, to be honest, there's not a lot that's extraordinary here.
There's virtually nothing new to this one; it's a rework of ex-con trying to make ends meet and being reeled back into crime, with the kicker of having to help a dumb brother-in-law who's in over his head. Then you have the scheming business owner looking to cut in on the ex- con's lady, and manipulating others to take the ex-con out of her life. (Sound like something you've seen before?) Frankly, Warner Brothers started making this film over-and-over with the birth of the talkies, and the only new angle is containerized shipping as the backdrop and cellphone ringtones as embedded clues.
The cast is certainly fine, but they don't have much to work with as far as their characters. You don't get a sense of anything beyond a bunch of low-lifes aspiring to nothing more than than the continuation of their low-lifedom. And the comedic bits are somewhat shoehorned in for quick and unsatisfying relief -- except for the goofball gangster sequence in Rotterdam, which really didn't last long enough.
It's not a bad movie at all, but it's not something that bears repeat viewing ... it's a spot of entertainment, but wound up in rather tired film clichés. And it's nowhere near the level of an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film.
I was very impressed with the film Reykjavik-Rotterdam. Just from the moment that I saw the trailer, I knew that I had to see this movie, and I was absolutely right! This movie offers you everything you need; Excitement, laughter, drama, you name it! The actors do a fantastic job, especially Baltasar Kormákur who is better known as a director but proves it in this movie that he is a fantastic actor as well. Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, one of Iceland's most beloved actors, is extremely convincing in his role as Baltasar's "friend" and I must say that I feel like all the actors just do a fantastic job. Most Icelandic movies, such as Baltasar's "Brúðguminn", I feel that are only fun for people from Iceland. However, this movie, Reykjavik-Rotterdam, can amuse everybody, and I can definitely say that it's just as good as many Hollywood thrillers I've seen. Try to find this movie and check it out, you won't be disappointed!
Reykjavik-Rotterdam is not only a thriller, but also a family story. Although the beginning is violent, and violence is there throughout the movie, the family elements, i.e. the main character, Christophers family gives the movie depth and a realistic perspective. The comedy element is also there throughout. This excellent combination of thriller and comedy throws the audience between laugher, excitement, thrill and compassion. The part that happens in Rotterdam gives the movie a fresh peak. Baltasar Kormákur handles the main role (Christopher) brilliantly. It is nice to see him act again after an absence of the screen for quite a while. One would guess that his emphasis on working as director and producer the last years has leveled him upward as an actor. Ingvar Sigurdsson also delivers his character (Steingrimur) with fine sensitivity, as often before. There are two new upcoming stars worth to mention. Lilja Nott (Iris) is convincing as the mother of two boys and wife of Christopher, which has obviously not been too easy to handle often before due to his smuggling habit. Jóhannes Haukur (Eiríkur) has a strong presence and is convincing as the violent drug dealer. He has arrived to stay in the Icelandic scene at least. I definitely recommend Reykjavik-Rotterdam.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What begins as what seems to be a calm conversation over a cigarette
between three young men, the opening scene of Reykjavik Rotterdam,
directed by Oskar Jonasson (2008), quickly turns into one of the young
men frantically running for his life from his two cigarette "friends."
Unfortunately, Arnor failed to escape the two bruisers and gets a good
beating. The reason for his overly hostile reprimand is because of a
recent botched smuggling of alcohol, a job given to Arnor from his
brother in law and former alcohol smuggler himself and main character,
Kristofer. Since Kristofer vouched for Arnor to do the job, he has
feelings of guilt and a sense of responsibility for his brother in law
and his well-being. Struggling for money and the fact that he is an
experienced and savvy smuggler himself, Kristofer is suspiciously roped
into coming out of retirement for another alcohol smuggling affair to
Rotterdam by his wife's ex boyfriend, Steingrimur, who seems to have an
ulterior motive for pressuring Kristofer into doing the job. To his
family's dismay, Kristofer accepts the job and boards a cargo ship with
old crew members that are in on the smuggling as well. The captain of
the cargo ship is anything but happy when he learns of Kristofer's
presence on his ship, and is determined to catch he and other crew
members in the act. Back in Reykjavik, Steingrimur's incessant scheming
begins to feel routine when finally his real motive is revealed; he
wants Kristofer to get caught in the act of smuggling alcohol because
he knows that if he does, Kristofer will be in jail for a long time and
in Steingrimur's mind that will surely lead to his eventual rekindled
relationship with his ex girlfriend, which he will stop at nothing to
achieve. A couple shootouts and even more fairly ridiculous twists set
the stage for the rest of the rest of the film as the plot begins to
Undoubtedly, there are various underlying themes beneath this Icelandic action-thriller. One of which is that of "class lines" and the vast difference between the "haves" and the "have nots". It is easy to see that Kristofer is struggling to make ends meet with a wife and two kids to support in addition to his criminal record of the past. Kristofer and his family already live in a very confined space and there is even a possibility of being evicted, in which case they may have to live with relatives, borrow money, or downgrade further yet regarding housing. On the other hand, Steingrimur represents the "haves" in this film. He is portrayed as a businessman type with money not being a problem in his life, and carries himself in a way that people will know that he is well off. Even more evident is his egotistical nature while at the same time has the ability to "kindly" manipulate situations in order to achieve what he wants. Although Steingrimur is better off monetary wise, Kristofer hands down has the edge in character. Even though both Steingrimur and Kristofer are criminals, Kristofer is solely in it for the money that is needed to support his financially struggling family, but the same can not be said for Steingrimur.
Another strong theme present in Reykjavik Rotterdam I believe is that of love, and how love can drive anybody to do things they normally would never do. Case in point: a successful person like Steingrimur would normally never plot to have his ex girlfriend's husband imprisoned for the sole and self-centered purpose of ending up with Iris. However, his love for Iris drives him to do more than just set up Kristofer. He lies, manipulates, and commits serious crimes, all in the name of love. This eventually leads to irony when, after going through all that trouble to have Iris to himself, he is the one who accidentally kills Iris in a heated rage after his intentions and actions are put into question. Equally as evident is Kristofer's love for Iris and his children. He loves them dearly, and as a man does not want to have to borrow money in order to support the people he loves. But, because he loves his wife and kids, he will do nearly anything is order to support them and simply be together as a family.
Overall, the film was very enjoyable to watch and see how the plot unfolded. Even better was the random comic lines and scenes that added another great aspect to the film, which along with the action and unique story line undoubtedly kept my attention throughout the entire film. My only caveat was that there were a few scenes as well as a twist that seemed just a tad bit unbelievable, but what's a movie without a little bit of over the top drama? It sure got sucked me in hook, line, and sinker. Other than that, I truly enjoyed the film as a whole and would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a thriller with great acting, and not solely for international cinema guru's. 9 out of 10 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw the Hollywood remake Contraband starring Marky Mark first. That
film borrows every major plot point from this one, in slightly altered
forms. And yet, the remake is a cartoon where nothing ever is at stake,
whereas this film exhibits better logic of the characters and plot
points. The dumb plot points (like the salt) are here too.
That's not to say it is a realistic story. More like a lower key Guy Ritchie picture, a heist film with a heightened reality, some comedy and some improbable escapes for the protagonists. The main romantic relationship between Kristofer and Iris is given more time to feel real here but the script is fundamentally plot driven. Kristofer is far more in jeopardy here than in the remake with his active parole and money problems.
I'm not sure this picture deserved its Oscar for Best Foreign Film but it was certainly a good foreign film for American audiences. So long as you aren't bothered by subtitles, anyone who likes a typical Hollywood crime movie will enjoy this one. Those after great foreign cinema with a very different tone should look elsewhere.
This movie was so amateurish it distracted from what ever the story was
supposed to be about. It was a smuggling thriller but am still not sure
exactly what they were smuggling vodka pills or both. (I think?? one
group was smuggling pills another vodka and the hero's "friend" stole
the money which he was supposed to pay out so landed him in trouble.
The "good" smuggler evidently figured out a way to have the vodka laced with heroin or whatever he was smuggling float to the surface of the ocean where he ditched it at just the exact right time so it could be recovered. If you could have followed what laws of physics he exploited to achieve this at least it would have made sense. If that was even the case?
This is below a B grade it is a Z grade Icelandic thriller movie....the smuggler/robin hood hero gets away with it.
The main character's wife looked like she about to be raped a half dozen times and it looked like she was killed once including being totted around wrapped in clear plastic but ends up smiling in a hospital bed at the end of the movie.
This thing is an amateurish dog. Iceland can surely produce something better than this. Confusing bad acting boring what else makes a movie a dud? This one had it. Maybe if I could have followed the logic of the story it would have helped.
It gets 2 stars for the uniqueness of being from Iceland otherwise it would have gotten 1.
Maybe you have to watch it twice to figure out the story. But nothing about this movie could force me to do that.
DO NOT RECOMMEND
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