My first disillusionment with Nordic Noir, which I've recently taken to. This is weak, with incredibly unlikely events manufactured just to ratchet up the tension - e.g.a female cop is allowed to walk unaccompanied throughout a maximum security prison full of rapists and killers? These devices are cheap and annoying. Worst of all, the storylines and characters are derivative. Too many resemblances to Dr Lecter, of Silence of the Lambs - the hyper-intelligent, middle aged convict wants a quid pro quo with the psychiatrist aiding the cops, a day out of the prison in exchange for information, which echoes Lecter's negotiations with Clarice Starling too strongly. And that's just a couple of examples - there are more. A lot of the psychoanalysis and psychological profiling mirrors stuff that has been done elsewhere, and done better. The ham-fisted love interest is crow-barred in, adding nothing to the story or the characters, who are already a bit weak. I feel the writers didn't really try hard to develop their own material or depth to the stories or characters - or they just weren't very good or experienced writers. It's a disappointment.
Bought this after enjoying The Bridge and The Killing, but it's not nearly as good as those - somewhat clichéd and with such a fast pace that the essential plot lines and character developments are more or less ignored. Bit of a missed opportunity.
What prompts a person repeatedly to kill? Here a Danish police unit calls upon psychologist Thomas Schaeffer to help them understand, all the better to predict a serial killer's next move and help secure arrest. All in some way are haunted by their past, Thomas included.
So is Katrine Jensen, in charge of the investigations. Often headstrong, she can make mistakes that cause grief, but there is no denying she gets results.
The unit itself is more civilized than sometimes found in such shows, colleagues likeable and competent.
Inevitably with grim themes, certain sequences will sicken and tension be great. There are also genuine surprises, not to mention a climax that will leave many viewers drained.
Laura Bach and Jakob Cedergren excel as Katrine and Thomas. Katrine's work is her life, her reason to be. In contrast, Thomas is devoted to his wife and young son - in danger of losing both, as each new case devours even more of his time.
Six feature length episodes. English subtitles. No bonuses.
As Nord Noir series go, this is perhaps not premier league. It offers much, though, that is worthy to fans of the genre.
Like False Trail, which I recently returned, this DVD has significant chunks of subtitle content missing. You see actors on screen speaking say 50 Danish words but only 20 English words appear as subtitle or no words at all. You are left to mentally join up the dots in an attempt to follow the plot so I gave up after 30 minutes. Unfortunately it was too late to return this DVD so shall now on make a point of testing DVDs soon after purchase. The better quality Scandinavian thrillers like The Killing, Borgen, The Bridge, and The Legacy don't have this flaw and make for excellent viewing but don't buy this or False Trail if you want to follow the plot.
'Those Who Kill' is a new Danish series, copied from the hugely successful 'The Killing'. It was so,successful that many have copied it, this may be the first successful new series.
This first appeared on British ITV, and is now available on DVD. Katrine Ries Jensen, played by Laura Bach, is a female detective dedicated to her job. Katrine is aided by Thomas, a profiler who is brought in by Katrine to assist. Her boss, who has had previous experience with Thomas, is not happy, but allows her this first case. In the first case 'Corpse in the Woods', Katrine gets too involved and finds herself in deep 'doo doo' , as we like to say. 'Those Who Kill' is well-made, police/procedural, interspersedwith the personal lives of the police detectives. There are several actors from 'The Killing', in this series. As the series moves along, it becomes more interesting. The first case was an easy mark, the plot easy to figure out. This is not to say that this series isn't well done, it is, but as time moves on, the series gets better as it goes on.
Danish murder investigations make excellent fictional TV. "Those Who Kill" adds to the genre, and is as good as the many alternatives on the market; and with a bit to spare in my view. Not only are the stories excellent, compelling and well acted, I think the two main characters are fantastic. It`s very easy to be drawn to the attractive Katrine (the leading cop), and also the brilliant Thomas Schaeffer (forensic psychologist). Throw in some handy support acts (such as Lars Mikkelsen) and convincing serial killers, and you have a crackerjack show on your hands. Wish there were many more than the six episodes.
I've just re-watched this DVD, and as a big fan of the genre, I have to say, emotionally, it punches way above its weight. I disagree with an earlier reviewer who suggests it doesn't dwell too much on the character of the lead players as much as the "Killing" did. Although we learned more about the circumstances of Sara Lund, I felt no emotional connection with her character. In this series I did. So much so, that although I'm not overly sentimental, I had tears running down my face at the end of the last, and most powerful episode. As in most of the Nordic Noir thrillers, the main protagonist is damaged, and at times, the way she allows her past to affect her actions can be maddening. Lars Mikkelsen from "The Killing" is here, but in a far more sympathetic role, that called for far subtler acting than before. If you're a fan of this stuff, you'll recognise other actors, from "The Killing" and "The Bridge", which was by the way, my favourite Scandinavian series until I watched this. The acting and production values in everything they do is far superior to anything the UK, or the USA delivers. Having spent some time working in Sweden a few years ago, I was deeply impressed by how the atmosphere those countries are captured in the exterior shots, although I have to name check "Hit and Miss" here, for capturing the landscape of the North of England in the same way. Look, you get 511 minutes of quality goods here, for less than you'd pay at the cinema to see Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise. Don't think about it, just buy it. N.D.