Customer Review

126 of 150 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You already know what I'm going to say, 19 Aug. 2011
This review is from: The Killing - Season 1 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I started watching this having managed to completely miss the original Danish version, The Killing [DVD] [2010] but aware of the encomia heaped upon it. After about three episodes I was having serious doubts about this US remake.

By episode eight I had pretty much given up. The reason? I'd managed to get hold of the Danish one on DVD, scampered through ten or so episodes and was forced to face facts.

Forbrydelsen, the Danish series known here as The Killing, IS TEN TIMES BETTER THAN THE AMERICAN REHASH!

In terms of overall presentation, music, photography, the original is better but more importantly regarding two important areas of the unfolding story: the police and the politicians. Neither Mireille Enos as Sarah Linden nor Billy Campbell as Darren Richmond are a patch on Sofie Grabol or Lars Mikkelsen. Kristin Lehman as Gwen, Richmond's girlfriend, pales into insignificance alongside Marie Askehave. Richmond is too po-faced, the campaign scenes too boring, nothing to compare with Troels Hartmann's fraught but thrilling challenge to the mayor. I think I read that Enos didn't watch the Danish series because she wanted to make her Sarah different from Grabol's Sara Lund. She succeeded, but the Seattle cop is a bore, her travails as a single mom uninteresting. She just looks sour most of the time. Grabol is brilliant at giving the detective a quiet intensity, a sharp mind constantly at work as she remains stubbornly, even obstinately, unruffled by the hand-wringing and criticism coming at her from all sides.

Lund's partner, Meyer (Soren Malling) is more believeable than Linden's grungey junior replacement, Holder (Joel Kinnaman). After half a dozen episodes, I was much more interested in him than Linden, since his grungey look and odd vernacular invited more speculation than Linden's frowning. Which isn't really the idea. Lund and Meyer have a more combustible relationship, his approach more confrontational but also risky, hers subtle and respectful, inviting confidence. On the subject of Ahmed vs Rama, the US version goes off on a different tangent, one that might seem more pertinent for US audiences but is less believeable. Only the actors playing the grieving parents are just about on the same level as the two Danes. Sensibly, the recapitulation at the start of each episode, in the Danish one, reminds us of Nanna Larsen, the US one doesn't remind us of Rosie's terror, and you could be forgiven for forgetting all about her.

To sum up, The Killing USA is a literally pale imitation of the european original and unless you're one of those oddballs who can't cope with subtitles you should navigate away from this page and buy yourself the Danish production. The Danish is even easier on the ear and you'll still need subs to understand the english language in the American version because they mumble a lot.

The Killing [DVD] [2010]
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Aug 2011 20:46:39 BDT
Mike Mac says:
Excellent review. As you say, the original, Danish version is infinitely superior to this weak, watered-down re-hash.

Posted on 19 Sep 2011 12:26:38 BDT
LUCY says:
I couldn't agree more. I find the US version all too slow and dare I say boring!

Posted on 23 Oct 2011 12:22:15 BDT
Kentspur says:
I didn't see the Danish show. I watched this. It was okay, but suffered from twist-aholism and, therefore, rather undermined its gloomy, 'authentic' schtick. 'The Wire' is authentic - 'the Killing' is not. Anyway, that's not why I'm commenting. It's the use of the word of 'encomia.' Ooooo..... First word in ten years that wasn't scientific or medical that I've had to look up apart from 'incarnadine' - used by Tom Holland is his (actually quite rubbish) 'Persian Fire.'

Bravo

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2014 14:44:49 GMT
The Guru says:
Great review and right on the money! The American version is way too boring and the casting of the lead detective was poor. If you do not mind subtitles, got for the original, a a much better quality show.
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