5.6/10
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The Higher Force (2008)

Stóra planið (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy | 28 March 2008 (Iceland)
Ashamed for being a debt-collecting thug, David believes that he is an ugly duckling waiting to become a swan. Through an unlikely mentor he finds out that life has indeed something very special in store for him.

Writers:

Olaf de Fleur Johannesson (screenplay), Rune Kippervik (screenplay development) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pétur Jóhann Sigfússon Pétur Jóhann Sigfússon ... Davíð
Ingvar Sigurdsson ... Magnús (as Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson)
Eggert Þorleifsson Eggert Þorleifsson ... Haraldur
Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir ... Júlía
Michael Imperioli ... Alexander
Benedikt Erlingsson ... Snati
Stefan C. Schaefer ... Wolfi
Joi Johannsson ... Ásgeir (as Jóhann G. Jóhannsson)
Erpur Eyvindarson Erpur Eyvindarson ... Elvar
Unnur Vilhjálmsdóttir Unnur Vilhjálmsdóttir ... Anna
Hilmir Snær Guðnason ... Prestur
Sigurjón Kjartansson ... Óskar
Zlatko Krickic Zlatko Krickic ... Mustang
Einar Örn Einarsson ... Head Waiter
Jón Gnarr ... Ráðgjafi (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

As a young boy David witnessed a fatal car accident, causing the death of his younger brother. Since then he has sought comfort in a Chinese philosophy video called The Higher Force. To this day, the wisdom of the Higher Force is guiding David through life and despite him being a member of questionable gang of debt-collectors, David is certain that fate has something greater in store for him. Upon moving into a new building, David befriends the landlord, Harald, a lonely elementary school teacher, who senses the young man's insecurity and need for guidance. When Harald finds out that David is a member of a debt-collectors gang, Harald starts playing himself as a big crime lord, owning real estate all over town, employing dubious characters and receiving large shipments of illegal goods from abroad. David's low status amongst his debt-collector mates, who keep putting him down for being a coward, quickly changes once David starts feeding them information on Harald, the mysterious crime... Written by James Cornsmith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Almost a Gangster Film See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Iceland

Language:

English | Icelandic | Mandarin

Release Date:

28 March 2008 (Iceland) See more »

Also Known As:

Felsőbb erő See more »

Filming Locations:

Iceland

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Box Office

Budget:

ISK80,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$256,210
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The book the film is based on is "A Gentleman's Tale", writer Thorsteinsson had always the actor Eggert Thorleifsson in mind for the role of Harald. See more »

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User Reviews

 
If you miss out on one film this year, let it be this one!
29 March 2008 | by osp-3See all my reviews

Badly shot, badly edited, clumsy dialogue, flat characters, unsuccessful adaption of a novel. It doesn't really get much worse. Decent acting and good popcorn saved me for this hour and a half - felt more like three hours - of boredom. Occasional good one-liners.

David is a dim-witted young man, who has never recovered from losing his brother at an early age. He puts his faith in a Chinese philosophy mumbo jumbo video, although that doesn't seem to help him much in real life. David is a member of a debt-collectors gang, where every member has an IQ below sea level. A lacking script, along with uncreative shooting and even worse editing, make what could have been quite funny incidents of failed debt-collecting look like a amateurish homemade reality show.

David rents an apartment from an elementary school teacher, Haraldur, who by dropping a couple of sentences about his own importance convinces David he is dealing with the most dangerous criminal in Iceland. A severely lacking script doesn't offer David anything to base his opinion on. A couple of scenes SHOWING Haraldur doing something that David could have misinterpreted would have done the work. The potentials of film as media, as opposed to the text of the book this film is based on, are not exploited.

At first, David's connection with Haraldur raises his status within the debt-collectors gang, but the prevailing paranoia in the criminal world forces David to show where his loyalty lies.

The plot of the film is fine, but then it is based on the book. This could have been a much better film. A good screenwriter could have made something of this material. Sadly, that is not the case.

The acting is generally good. Pétur Jóhann is excellent and credible as David. Eggert Þorleifsson doesn't get much to work with, but does his best with what little material he has. Ingvar Sigurðsson and Michael Imperioli (in a tiny role) manage alright.

Overall opinion: What could have been quite a funny and entertaining film about a dim-witted anti-hero in a debt-collectors gang, becomes a boring, badly-crafted film made after a poor manuscript. Staring at your toes for an hour and a half would be more enjoyable.


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