Generally I felt that the acting was sub par. This is somewhat related to the problem with the dialogue; you feel like you're watching actors rather than characters. However, Bahar Pars, Ida Engvoll and Rolf Lassgård were the exceptions. They all did a pretty good job in my opinion.
However, although I felt the movie lacking in a lot of areas, the story is pretty good. But I recommend reading the book before seeing the movie, as the book, in my humble opinion, is a lot better.
The following two episodes were beautifully produced (if that's right word) and Sarah Michelle Gellar is perfect in her role. The series also have that hard-to-put-your-finger-on-and-even-harder-to-achieve feeling. I kind of got a "Cruel Intentions" vibe. But just as with Sarah Michelle Gellar, it's a more mature and confident feeling. It's really great.
There's, in my humble opinion, just one flaw with "Ringer". But it's a flaw that could potentially ruin everything. The problem is that while the concept is great, Sarah Michelle Gellar is perfect and the production has that great feeling, the writing seems very sloppy. There are so many inconsistencies and plot holes that I get frustrated. The problem is basically limited to the thriller part of the writing, almost as if that writing was forced in by accountants rather than delivered by the writers.
And if it continues down this path, I think it's going to backfire and ruin everything. This is, of course, only my speculations, but I think that the thriller writing must up to par with the rest. Whether it be a problem caused by money counters or that the "thriller writers" are too junior or have to little resources. Otherwise I think that this series will collapse, and that would really be a shame.
So I strongly recommend that you see the original instead. It's even a little better since the American version forgot one crucial scene and added a scene that has no reason to be there except for looking good in the trailer.
Once again - see the original (Por Elle). It's better and that way you give credit where credit's due.
Gere and Danes are doing their jobs, and while it's not their best work, it's quite OK. The rest of the cast, though, is doing a really poor job. Mind you, this is not entirely the actors fault. The problem is that Gere and Danes are the only ones that have characters that have even the slightest room in the movie to really give any depth. All other characters have either too little room in the movie to create any depth, or the character is such a cliché that it doesn't matter how hard the actors try.
The director has a bit of a Se7en complex, but looking merely at the direction, I think he does an OK job.
But the story. This is the kind of script that is bad in two ways. First of all it's a bad movie script. The characters are shallow (except for Gere's and Danes' characters), the villains are clichés and the actions of the characters is totally unbelievable. Besides this, the writers must have an agenda where they want to bring back our views and ethics a hundred years. It's the kind of movie that are saying that some criminals are still criminals, regardless of the fact that they have paid the price the society has given them. It's also the kind of movie that says, albeit only between the lines, that every form of sexual deviance should be punished without trial, judge or jury. And of course, according to the movie, everything that is not sex in the missionary position by a married couple is a sexual deviance.
So, if you're going to film school and need an example of a bad script, or if you're writing scripts yourself and want an ego boost. See it. For everyone else, I recommend another movie.
All n' all, this is a must see. But at the same time, it's important to realize that this is not an Indiana Jones clone, despite looking only at the main plot, that's what it looks like. This is a comedy, plain and simple. It has it fair share of written comedy, but its brilliance lies in the way they've used their low budget and the fact that they didn't take it seriously.
First off - the cast. The only ones of the actors I knew who they were, was Henrik Hjelt and Mikael Tornving, both I knew from stand-up-comedy-type-shows like "Parlamentet". I knew they're both funny, and have an excellent 'stone face' when delivering their lines. I'd almost never seen them in a real movie or series and didn't really know what to expect. It's obvious that they're comedians before actors, but they both handle the acting quite good in this series. The three other actors - Saga Gärde, Richard Ulfsäter and Josephine Bornebusch - I'd never heard of before, but they handle the acting excellent. I also think that this is one of the things that makes the series so good, that the acting is up to par. Bad acting can spoil a good script faster than you can say Steven Seagal...
The main character Mårten (Henrik Hjelt) has the perfect life. He and his girlfriend are about to get married and he has the good job at 'Shine', a travel agency/organizer, and is about to join the board of directors. That's when the fact that he's never actually worked as a travel guide is disclosed, and instead he's sent to Gran Canaria to gain his mandatory experience at one of their hotels. The people working at the hotel are the beautiful Sandra (Saga Gärde), the kooky Linn (Josephine Bornebusch), the not so bright Steffen (Richard Ulfsäter) and their boss Tommy (Mikael Tornving).
What makes the series so good are two things. First and foremost - the characters. All the characters are well written and while Mårten and Sandra are somewhat "normal", the other three are weird and funny. Yet they are believable and consistent, which, at least in my book, is really important. The minor characters, unfortunately, isn't really at the same standard. But it doesn't damage the series that much due to the good acting of the main cast. And Richard Ulfsäter is nothing but fabulous as his character, which is very similar to Joey in the series "Friends" and "Joey", and he actually steals the show from Henrik and Mikael.
Secondly, the script is pretty good. Due to the fact that the entire series is set in a hotel it's easy to relate to "Fawlty Towers", but of course the script isn't this good. It's pretty easy to find flaws and the credibility isn't always what I'd like. But the fact remains that it is better than most TV series. You can find elements similar to "Coupling", which, at least until the first three seasons, I believe to be the best TV series scripts ever written.
So, if you like "Friends", "Coupling" and/or "Fawlty Towers", I would recommend you to see this.
You don't always know what is going to happen. There is no actor in the movie that really stinks (since almost all roles are played by actors that might not be the best, but they've all got lot's of experience). The action is ok but no more than that. There are a lot of Quentin Tarantino Reservoir Dogs rip-offs but it doesn't seem so bad since they're usually in scenes starring Michael Madsen. So I recommend this movie, it's a lot better than some of the bad blockbusters.