Icelandic auteur Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband, 2 Guns, Everest) directs and stars in this psychological thriller about a father who tries to pull his daughter out of her world of drugs and... See full summary »
Thirty-year-old Hlynur still lives with his mother and spends his days drinking, watching porn and surfing the net while living off unemployment checks. A girl is interested in him, but he ... See full summary »
Hilmir Snær Guðnason,
Hanna María Karlsdóttir
Vincent is an ex-soldier with PTSD who is hired to protect the wife and child of a wealthy Lebanese businessman while he's out of town. Despite the apparent tranquility in Maryland, Vincent perceives an external threat.
The basic premise of this film does not give reason for very high expectations --- dedicated parents with child in distress, how far are they willing to go, and what do they need to do in order to save their child. In this case, the child needs an organ transplant, and as the usual channels do not seem to be able to save her, the parents need to get creative about procuring a suitable organ in some other way.
This is fertile breeding ground for loads of cheese, contrived story lines, and emotional vignettes. And even though you can see the end coming from quite a bit away, and even the movie isn't entirely free of cheese, it's a dark and gritty movie that explores its subject without too much sentimentality and isn't afraid to look where standard Hollywood fare might not.
The solid story is helped along by a strong cast led by a great Mulroney (who seems to be expanding his range with every work I see him in), and it pains me to say that even Diane Kruger (whom I otherwise enjoy to slam) turns in an excellent performance, as does the interesting supporting cast (Arquette appears somewhat underused, it wouldn't be surprising if a good deal of her material ended up on the cutting room floor).
At some point in the film you realize that no matter which way things go, the ending won't be a very happy one. To me, that is where I see the true strength of this movie, and I find it much more important than the particular road the story ends up taking (and which seems to have made many viewers rather unhappy judging from the discussion boards). To be sure, I like the ending, and much prefer it over its conceivable alternatives, but the real point remains that our protagonist had arrived at a situation that no longer admitted a 'happy' resolution.
Definitely worth seeing.
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