Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If the Long Good Friday happened in Iceland, 29 Jun 2013
This review is from: City State [DVD] (DVD)
Ignore the title and marketing blurb for this film; they're largely irrelevant to the plot and atmosphere. There is no 'city brought to its knees.' It's not a Hollywood-style car chase, running, shouting and shooting movie, but instead plays to the strengths of mature, unflinching Nordic noir.

Set in modern-day Iceland, the plot revolves around a dominant crimelord who's trying to retire and sell his 'business'. When he over-reacts to the theft of some drugs, he falls foul of an Eastern European mafia family whose brutal methods and youthful savagery threaten to overwhelm his experience and stature.
Parallel plot threads explore and interweave the stories of a corrupt, dissolute older detective (who has fallen in love with a whore) and a brittle but violently determined female SWAT officer (who is also romantically entangled with the wrong person); a fairly hapless wannabe mafia lieutenant (who, similarly, has chosen his bedmate unwisely) into the narrative.
Jonathan Pryce pops up in a small part as an English gangster; beautifully played but not on screen for long. The star of the film is undoubtedly the Serbian mechanic whose righteous revenge drives the whole story forward to its predictable (but still satisfying) conclusion.
City State was produced with miniscule resources, and perhaps that shows in the plotting. It sets several interesting balls rolling but wraps things up a little lazily at the end. The result is that it creates several extremely memorable characters and they tend to overshadow the story. However, the film-makers certainly used what budget they had creatively and effectively - the photography is stylish without being pretentious: it's tautly atmospheric and grimly realistic in its depiction of the several intense violent encounters. The scenes with the SWAT team unofficially exacting revenge are particularly powerful.
It's also interesting to view a unromanticised interpretation of modern day Reykjavik - don't pick this up expecting to see sweeping landscapes of Icelandic lava flows and volcanos, or bleakly beautiful screenshots of snow and ice. City State captures the claustrophobic, buttoned-down intensity of Nordic noir, but it does so without employing those standard shots which are becoming clichés...

So not a classic Scandinavian thriller - but definitely a decent evening's entertainment.
7/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.7 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
12.99 3.67
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Kernow, Great Britain

Top Reviewer Ranking: 13