Made me Mad! - No need for a gritty reboot of Jönssonligan
I waited a while to watch this one, and I'm glad I did not see it in the cinema. I admire the first original eight films in the Jönssonligan series (1981-2000) very much. I think they are genuine, funny and full of wonderful moments. They weren't just about the heists and plans, but about the sympathetic characters. All of those eight films bring a smile to my face because how wonderfully honest they are with both humor and cleverness, all mixed in a nice lighthearted bowl. I was excited when I heard an origin film was to be made. But, after seeing the advertisement for it I felt completely and utterly let down.
What have they done with this nice series?! Why did they have to reboot it on such a way?! It doesn't even to have ANYTHING to do with Jönssonligan at all except for the name itself. This is a huge problem with Swedish films nowadays. They feel the need to copy American action/crime action films like "Ocean's Eleven" or maybe even "Bourne". The filmmakers bragged about the fact that this is a dark and gritty reboot like "Casino Royale" was for the "007" films. The thing is; The original James Bond novels were dark and gritty, but Jönssonligan was based on "Olsen- Banden", which were always designed as harmless comedies. There's no point to make this film like "Snabba Cash" or whatever. Make it be its own great thing. All of the fantastic source material and characters are there. Just use them as they are meant to be! It's obvious that the filmmakers have no clue how to pace this film either. There are so, so, so many jump-cuts used that it makes me frustrated. What? They don't think people who watch films can pay attention to a shot for more than 10 SECONDS!!!! There's no time to breath and appreciate the situations, characters or location. They just cut, cut and cut.
While the rushed editing fails on every level, what can the story hold? Well, it's just bland and mediocre. There is not much charisma or chemistry going on. The script is stale and lines are delivered in either a woody or "wanna be tough" manner. It's unfortunate, because the casting was good and the actors could probably have done a good job if it wasn't for this rushed and stale direction. The love triangle was useless. Vanheden (played by Alexander Karim) is the one member of the crew who was OK, and the actor did a decent job with all the language switches. The best characters were Charles- Ingvar's Uncle and Alejandro (played by Juan Rodriguez). They felt the most sympathetic and human of them all. They are in it too briefly though, which is a shame.
This whole thing made me sad. If it was called something else and had nothing to do with Jönssonligan, I would surely not be so hard on it. Because then it would have just been a forgettable heist movie. Maybe it would have even worked as its own separate thing. But, since it's now officially an entry in this series I watch it knowing who all these characters are meant to be. And they are all butchered. Congratulations Swedish Film Industry, you have completely misunderstood what makes the Jönssonligan films so good, uplifting and nice to watch. If you make more then they HAVE to be lighthearted. All of the originals were still based in reality, so there's no point to think that a new more "realistic" version has to be made. Nobody asked for such a thing to be made. Except for probably the studio who want people to think it's the next "Jack Reacher". Please Swedish filmmakers, don't try to be USA. There is a charm to the classic Swedish cinema that can't be replicated anywhere else.
The original eight films are classic comedies and they STILL HAVEN'T BEEN RESTORED AND RELEASED ON BLU-RAY!!!. I mean, instead of making this film they should have remastered the originals. They are in desperate need to be restored. The DVD's look like someone just recorded a VHS version and slapped it on to a disc.
I really don't wanna take the effort to talk more about this thing, It doesn't deserve it. But, there's one last thing I need to mention. The music choices are flat out terrible. There's a bunch of modern pop stuff in this which doesn't feel right. There's a little bit of instrumental tracks here and there, but none of it includes the fantastic original theme song. This theme is essential to the name Jönssonligan. It's like Star Wars or Indiana Jones without their themes. We associate it so much with these films that there is of course no way it should be left out. As a fan, the least I wanted was to hear a new rendition of the theme play in a few scenes. It would have brought that old sympathetic feeling back, and it would also bring in some of that special tone that this whole thing lacked. But then the WORST thing happens. As soon as the end credits roll they tease us with the first seconds of the theme before it turns into a garbage pop song. It was enough to make ME MAD!!! JUST NO! THEY COULD HAVE JUST WENT WITHOUT THE SONG COMPLETELY, IT DOESN'T DESERVE TO BE IN THIS MOVIE ANYWAY. But to tease us like that?! No, I'm done.
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