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Action-adventure, not Nordic noir
on 3 August 2014
Starring Mads Mikkelsen and a very fresh-faced Alexander Skarsgard, this subtitled Swedish thriller is going to get a lot of attention. However, it's very different to the accepted style of modern Nordic noir, which is normally understated, bleak, haunting and introspective. Instead this is very much a Scandinavian take on a Hollywood action movie -- in the 'making of' special feature the writers freely accept that it has a lot in common with films like The Fugitive.
Exit is a corporate thriller, the old favourite where a businessman is set up for a murder he didn't commit, goes on the run, must gather evidence to prove his innocence; family left vulnerable and exposed, murky past bubbles to the surface.
Mikkelsen is his usual excellent self and dominates the screen for the majority of the film; Skarsgard plays a quietly polished supporting role. His character is much less self-assured than his later roles (Eric the vampire he's not!)
The plot is a trifle silly in places and the characters' actions don't always make a great deal of sense if you consider them in any detail. Lots more running, shouting and shooting than you might normally expect from Scandiland -- this is definitely 'action / adventure' rather than 'claustrophobic psychodrama.'
An entertaining Saturday night flick.