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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