Darkland (2017) Poster


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Style over Substance
stephen-62424 July 2017
I'm closer to Thobias on this one.

Sure, it's an easy watch, quick and stylish to a fault, and certainly raises highly pertinent questions about Danish (or any OECD) society.

But I found that the script didn't take anywhere near enough effort to make it plausible. So, here we have this highly integrated professional, Dr Jekyll, with a great marriage. He's consciously walked away from his culture and ethnicity, goes out of his way to abuse his poor old dad for being mentally stuck in Iraq.

Then, on behalf of a loser brother he doesn't even like, he suddenly turns into Mr Hyde on steroids? The only partial explanation we're offered is guilt, but it didn't wash for me.
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Anyone can be a gangster
nogodnomasters11 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Zaid (Dar Salim) is a successful Iraqi surgeon living in Denmark. His family came there 30 years ago. He has assimilated very well, while those around him have not. When his brother, needing his help, is murdered, Zaid conducts the investigation that the police won't do.

We have seen these cops won't do their job, guy works out and goes after bad guy films. Not the best vigilante film out there, just a different location.

Guide: Swearing, sex. No nudity. Subtitles.
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Exceedingly weak
TdSmth517 June 2018
In the intro, a guy talks another into robbing a bank. Just the robber is about to walk into the bank there's a car crash. Never mind. He goes ahead with the robbery. Cops show up and chase him. We don't know what happens next.

An Iraqi heart surgeon in Denmark is told that his brother has just been wheeled into the morgue. It's the bank robber. Now the good doctor starts investigating since the cops can't do much. It's not like the bad guys will volunteer any info. The doc is befriended by some low-level thug who tells him that his brother worked for some drug dealer named Branco. Doc pays him a visit and gets beat up and nearly shot. So he does the logical thing--start working out, train boxing, injecting some substance while he continues to investigate who the killer of his brother is, never mind that his Danish wife is heavily pregnant.

He does find out who is behind the murder, some guy name Semion who surprise...surprise runs some MMA fight club. As the doc plans his revenge, things don't quite turn out as smoothly as planned but eventually he confronts Branco and then Semion.

Darkland is one long, slow, overstylized...action thriller I guess, where the tedious pace completely annuls the action and the thrills. But for an European/Scandinavian movie this is fast-paced and action-packed. I didn't buy for a second the good doc's transformation into Rocky, Rambo and the Energizer bunny. Neither did I sympathize with this guy at any moment. As usual, the bad guys are far more charismatic than this lame bad hero. Direction isn't all that good, it is what gets in the way of the story's potential. While not original, the story isn't bad. But they could have done more with the whole Muslim minority in Denmark thing. There are 3 interesting things in the script. At some point the Doc has some strong words with his father, he points out that they've lived in Denmark for 30 years but he cares more about Iraq and has done nothing there but sit on the couch, never got a job, and didn't have a clue that the younger son was into bad stuff. Then Semion in turn tells the doc that it is he who has been lifting his community and helping those in need while the Doc fled to the "white world" and cares nothing for his people. The doc tells Branco that having children doesn't make a parent, something that later will turn back on him. But aside from that, things are quite superficial. Darkland could have been so much more but it unfortunately is a failure of a movie.
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The most impressive danish thriller since Pusher
justanamebr20 January 2017
Not only did it outclass the best danish movies in it's genre, it outclassed the production value and genius script writing of any other danish film I've seen for a very, very long time. This is a masterpiece, and you NEED to watch this movie. The great thing about this movie is it's not just some stupid action thriller with a weak plot and tons of violence, it's a very clever, dark thriller that touches upon very heavy subjects. We follow Zaid as his agenda switches from justice to revenge. It becomes almost perverse as he unleashes his inner hatred, and throws away everything that matters in order to get his revenge. I'm incredibly impressed with the cinematography, the acting, the plot and the surprising amount of symbolism and underlying thought processes that went into this movie. Even the music is amazing. I appreciate the great efforts from the producers, and i really wish they make more incredible movies. The danish film industry needs more masterpieces like this one.
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odette-521-56286018 September 2018
THOROUGHLY enjoyed this movie. For me it wasn't about the "predictability" of the film.... nor was it about the "modern-day revenge" theme as indicated by others.

For me it was all about the back-story.... the story behind the apparent tale. oh yeah.... very current... and very valid in today's society....
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Something new entirely to Danish cinematography, and WOW!
oliverhoegjensen30 January 2017
To start off: Watch this movie and support the film by going to the cinema to watch it or rent it - you will not be disappointed! I highly recommend catching it in the cinema.

All in all, this is a great movie within the genre of Danish gang related crime films. It has great acting, amazing music and sound effect design, beautiful cinematography and a plot that works on so many levels I would have never expected! What I expected was 'John Wick' meets Danish gangsters, which wouldn't have been bad, but what I got was so much more. This movie manages to establish a truly sensible love/hate relationship through powerful scenes and dialogues and then continues to use this to its advantage. There are hints at many different things in the plot, which are a delight to discover and think about as afterthought.

I would say 10/10, but I am deducting a star for just a few handful of scenes and dialogues that seemed off and got the movie off to a bit of a slow start. Had they not been there, this movie would have been a perfect 10/10 and maybe the best of its kind within the genre from Denmark of all time. It arguably still is.

TLDR; 'Underverden' is a classic revenge movie, as summarized in the plot description, but it is also much, much more than that!
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Not bad, but not good enough either
LogicIsEverything17 December 2017
Nice camera work shot beautifully on a Danish setting, cold, wet and dreary weather condition in blueish sharp tint. With such nice cinematography, the movie is supposed to be very good, but regretfully, the lousy script with poor directing sequences from the very beginning has narrowed the film into a mediocre predictable one-way street.

The heavily flawed screenplay and its storyline could be spotted a mile away from the very beginning within 5 minutes:

1) A prearranged traffic accident on a crossroad, with two cars collided and crashed in a city center was pretty good trick to divert everybody to focus on the accident, allowing the bank robbery to be carried out without anybody on the street paying attention; a good touch here but simply failed to justify a robbery with only one carry-on bag, even its full of money, it might be able to cover the values of two crashed cars. Or, did that car crash get nothing to do with the bank robbery but an unpredictable real traffic accident?

2) Robbing a bank with a bright shinny orange-red carry-on bag? How stupid it could be?

3) The robber, the younger brother of a medical doctor, ran away from the bank on a motorbike through a city sidewalk, how stupid it was! Then out of the blue, a police cruiser suddenly appeared from nowhere and started to chase him with no sirens blasted loudly. WTF?! Was the money he robbed and stuffed into his bag had some micro electronic GPS device that could alert the police to follow him with such ease? What a stupid lousy script, absolutely ridiculous!

If a film started with such a stupid and illogic beginning, from the first scene to the next couple of minutes' development, it was doomed, like a still-born child, no breath, no burst of a first cry, eyes totally shut, no body heat, and this film was dead as a still-born from the very beginning.

I don't think what I write here got anything to do with "Sproiler" at all, because what I point out here is just at the beginning of this mediocre film, badly scripted and blindly directed.
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Hard punching movie lacks tension
myscreenwriter13 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Director Fenar Ahmad takes on the savagery in underworld Copenhagen. As any movie of this caliber, when violence rules, the hard punches come through over the top production design and a fine cast.

Protagonist Zaid (Dar Salim) goes on a vendetta after his kid brother is beaten to death. Fueled by guilt for not aiding him, Zaid starts training himself (again) and teams up with old training pals. In the underworld, the mobster Semion (Ali Sivandi) is not only a crime lord but a hard-punching martial artist. The table is set for a grand meeting between two opposite types of hard-hitting men.

The standoff starts at a restaurant (Michael Mann style in Heat 1995) with Semion having a monologue on racial equality towards an expensive lifestyle. The only line delivered between the two men, that actually sets of a motion to do battle is when Semion asks Zaid where he was, when his brother needed him. The scene never climbs in tension, but stays in a face of desperation as seen in Zaids face, but only guilt, giving the knife Zaid has in his hand under the table, no point at all. Not even Semions provocative language seems to alter Zaids with his mind already set (Zaid says to his pregnant wife, that they should go away, when all "this" is finished).

The rampage begins and Zaid trains like Batman in a slow Rocky-like montage, dressing in black, even painting his motorcycle black, blowing up Semions interests. Hitting back, Zaids wife and friends are all subject to attack, fueling the rage out of control. At this point we still only have Zaids melancholy towards his own sense of bad conscience, and never the tension that always builds between two combatants before a fight. Family feuds never erupt, when Zaid goes home to confront his parents, but stays with characters accusing each other, never revealing the passion people go through, when a family member has died.

The final, the standoff and Zaids revenge. We have seen it time after time, (recomendable in Death Sentence 2007) there is no sense or reason in blood-revenge, only the character's emotions. The tension between Semion and Zaid never winds up, there is nothing to let go and thus giving the movie its slow paced graphic violence, without the tension that should have fueled the desire to have revenge. Zaid's fight is more in himself, than towards others, leaving his rampage looking like a high educated man, snapping after losing a family member.

Point is, Zaid is punching on others for the wrong reason, getting up like a monster you can't kill. But then again, is there ever a good reason to punch or even kill another person?
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Predictable Wannabe Hollywood Flick.
thobiasjw22 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
May contain spoilers. Im gonna make this short. If you like a movie, where a random guy with very little fighting skill, becomes a hand to hand combat and weapons specialist, in very short time, this is a movie for you! The first hour is slow and kind of boring and then the revenge campaign starts. Its not a bad movie, but doesn't deserve a above 7 rating on IMDb. Its only because its Danish it got that high rating.
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Good European Thriller
kosmasp9 February 2018
So this may not be the best thriller to come out of Europe but it is more than a decent attempt. It may have quite a few cliches thrown into the mix/for good measure and you will be able to see where this is going too. Still it is intriguing and very well played. You have a "real" issue and something people can relate to (relative in trouble, brother trying to move on, but still feeling obliged to help and so forth).

So the brother in question is not superman, something that is quite apparent and has to toughen up before he can ... well find a solution to a problem his brother "caused". Again there is not much meat to the story, but if that sounds like something that you can be entertained by, than this movie is for you
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It was long, but boring
bm-892746 June 2018
No idea why so much stars for this one. Romantic electronic music in a bloody action - this is what you find in European movies, for some extremely weird reasons.

Plot: there is nothing special, everything is oh-so-much very predictable.

Acting: not entirely bad, actually. Sometimes even a bit better than Van Damme would act as a babysitter.

Fights scenes are good enough and realistic (hence whole two stars for this!!). I liked that the hero also feels enough pain.

Point: probably happiest country in the world wants to make a point that they are not exactly happiest, after all. I was myself in Copenhagen, seems dark enough even daytime, indeed...

Would I ever recommend this movie? If you want to watch worse than Steven Seagal's level timewaste, make sure you won't fall asleep in the middle of it.
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Danish/Iraqi Chuck Norris Rip-Off (Spoiler: Chuck Norris Movies Are Stupid)
leftbanker-118 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Relentlessly, unmercifully predictable at every step.

Of course, the native born Danish police are made out to be worse than the criminals who killed this guy's brother. Immigrants are the real heroes, because they are all doctors and lawyers and such while our man wants to be a cowboy. Sorry, I've heard this song before. And before you think I'm some racist nationalist let me say that I speak Arabic (although the Iraqi they speak in this film is unintelligible to me).

And then it turns into Rocky (hardly a spoiler on my part as the trailer gave away the entire film).

And then it turns into Batman.
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A Good Danish Slam Revenge Thriller!
pibl-8782417 February 2018
Director and Writer " Fenar Ahmed" have made a Clever , Solide Action, Dark Thrill and a pinch Drama. Great Work!

7,3/10 ;)
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Predictable classic revenge story
valtteris20 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is really predictable, no one can argue that. You really don't have to wonder what's next. It's a classic revenge story, with a Nordic twist. Visually movie is easy to watch and it definitely got some stylish scenes and actors are doing really good performances. After rising expectations high with slow and thrilling start, movie loses its grip and makes you think that this movie got almost all the elements to be much better, but it just don't deliver. Still worth to watch.
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Classic vengence in a nordic noir setting
viktorrosdahl-5817512 November 2019
For all of us who enjoy to live out the suppressed anger and need for revenge, through art, which since the days of Monte Chisto is quite a few I would say. This classic vengeance story starts off with a surgeon who driven by guilt begins to research the circumstances of his brothers recent passing... As the frenzy unfolds the story does not shy away from questions of class and family in contemporary nordic and european societies. The scenes with the argument between Zaid and his father are really strong cinematic experience. The movie holds a subtle but angered fist towards the ignorant middle class who cannot seem to see the reality outside of their comfortably numb existence.
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One of the best movies of 2017 if not THE best
sorendk-915-1731052 July 2017
As the title says, this is one of the best movies of 2017, if not the best, Dar Salim plays the lead role to perfection, actually everyone in the movie does their job so well it all melts together. The action is nicely tuned, the drama plays in well and the story just runs smooth. This movie, I'm guessing, will be remade in America, its THAT good.

Being Danish might make me biased but, seeing a movie about immigrant gangs where a "good" immigrant goes bad to kill the "BAD" immigrant's to avenge his brother, hits a spot. We have a lot of immigrant gang issues in Denmark right now and this movie in a sense shows that even immigrant's can get fed up with "BAD" immigrant's. Dar Salim's role has integrated into the Danish culture and way of life but when other immigrant's kill his brother, he goes on the war path, something Danish men could learn from...

I might be wrong, but the message i get from this movie is, even immigrant's hate "BAD" immigrant's. A lot of them want to be here to be part of Denmark, but the few ruin in for them. Denmark has room for everyone, that behave, this movie shows that even immigrant's can be fed up and want to rid the country of "BAD" Imigrants..
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Classic Scandinavian Thriller
vjulien26 April 2018
Darkland follows the rules of a classic Scandinavian thriller. The atmosphere is oppressive thanks to the acting of the main character and due to the fact that most of the scenes take place at night.

The screenplay is pretty straightforward and without any major surprise but there is still a lot of suspense. We are waiting to see what Zaid is going to do next. This movie also raises interesting questions about ethnicity and one's integration into a different country and culture.
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Is this supposed to reflect real life
nanasockmonster27 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Great till the end. Spoiler. Dont read this

So the cops were useless the entire movie. Typical. Like in real life they dont help when u need them and are in the way when u try to do good. They arrest him at the end but could never do anything to stop this drug crime lord. So typical. Not into reality stories see to much of this already. The good guy always gets screwed and crime always pays off. Look at the richest ppl in the world. Their money is based on crime. Even USA president wasnt his old money from prostitution and bootleg or something. Seems like evil wins and good suffers. What a stupid world
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Terrible. Dont waste your time!
tom-mu27 April 2019
One of the worst boring movies I've ever seen. Complete waste of your livetime.
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A fake super hero, that's so good to see.
searchanddestroy-15 January 2018
I fell in love with this movie from Scandinavia. Yes, in love. It is billions time away from the Hollywood super f...heroes crap for dumbs and dumbers. You could think at first time that's a super hero movie. An ordinary dude, more than ordinary, a surgeon, who decides to aven his brother death by impersonationg a sort of Batman, a dark avenger. I was dead afraid of what I was about to watch. But I was man wrong. This hero is not a superf...hero at all. No folks. He is no more than a desperate loser. That's why I LOVE this movie. Thumbs up.
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Nothing out of the ordinary
rsr-144 March 2019
Dude looses family member and takes revenge. It's all been seen and done better before. The limited budget shows, the acting performed by the main character was great though. I do prefer TV shows like The Punisher (Season 2) much more than this movie. For persons enjoying shows and movies about a dude seeking to administer some justice - and punishment - to criminals. Dolby Atmos was a great addition to the blu-ray version.
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It could have been great, but...
dctr66628 February 2019
The movie has style... The actor isn't bad, and the story, eventhough not original, is very good... But... The movie seemed to have two different parts... The first one, the building of the characters, was very well paced, not rushed... But the second one, when the vengeance finally starts, is thrown away, all over the place... There's no logic sequence, no climax, no nothing... And, of course, there's the plot, on the second half... What the hell?!!! Everything is thrown in screen, without a hint of what's going on and how things happened the way they did... It lacks something... And that's bad...
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Can't give it anymore
solefab-533029 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is a really bad movie. Because of all the intensions.

The storyline is so out of any plausible story. Which is disappointing because the leading star, Dar Salim, almost would have played the role by himself. He has it all. He is unique. He tells a story even just by looking at him. It's like this PTSD-soldier look.

It could be awesome. If it wasn't made out this big. If it was made way smaller. Let the pictures tell.

I can't figure out what the movie wants. It isn't a story. If a movie doesn't have a story I won't categorise it as a movie. It fails.

Go watch Pusher I, II, first 40 minutes of Bleeder and the to/three first episodes of 'Kriger'.
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Brilliant danish realism
molly-m-larsen24 November 2018
I've heard a few people say it, and I agree: this is the best danish movie, in the genre, since Pusher I! Underverden/Darkland, is a very powerfull, realistic and dark movie. I got the same feeling as I did with Pusher I - it stuck in my head...it's tough and shocking. You are convinced with the characters, the environment, the atmosphere. It got to the core of me. It's deep. And makes you reflect. 10 thumbs up.
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A danish masterpice
lasse_hjortlund28 July 2018
This movie should, and will I think, be in the same discussion as the quite legendary movies Pusher and other movies such as. I get why some don't get along with the way they sometimes talk, but it's a truthful description of the environment. It's got a thrilling sense to it's plot, a bit cliché maybe yes, but I think for Danish but also internationally it got a great story! And oh boy, as they say, save the best for last! The soundtrack in this one produced by Jens Ole McCoy, a fantastic and well known musician back home in Denmark, and in this one he more than expected I would say - it's the cream of the crop.
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