Dark, inventive European thriller - loved it!
JC | 11/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A looney journey into the mind of mad deluded man, Nigel is the ultimate anti-hero if I ever saw one!
It all starts when crazy Nigel befriends with the lowest, darkest and meanest people ever to come out of Copenhagen when he arrives from England, that's a clever start, Mr Nigel! Through torture by spoons & nails, weird psychedelic sex, violence by can of baked beans, suicide, heroine abuse, powertools, unwanted pregnancies to murder... with a few wild but entertaining philosophical diversions along the way...nothing goes right in poor Nigels new life... he feebly attempts to dig himself out of trouble only the hole gets deeper til it engulfs him - and whooah! what an unpredictable blast of an ending!
Shot, composed and edited very stylistically for a budget of almost nothing it seems (looking at the DVD extras and commentary anyway), this is a low budget atmospheric, breath-taking movie that I can imagine will likely to provoke equally aswell as enlighten others with its very unique style.
Overall, intelligent, quirky and darkly humorous in a twisted way, of course, I loved it.
A recommendend DVD experience!"
Lots of style, not much substance
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 12/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is an extremely downbeat tale of a loser who should know better. Nigel, an English petty criminal on the lam from his native country and now living in Copenhagen, hooks up with some Danish gangsters to make quick cash. Living with his second wife, Maria (also Danish), he meets a hooker in the employ of the Danish gangsters and almost immediately has his way with her. This is shown in lurid sex scenes.
Nigel is shown as really not stupid at all, at least mentally, but streetwise he's a total loser. Is it possible that somebody with real brains can do so many stupid things? Sure, this film says, that happens all the time. OK, that's relatively credible. But the four or five deaths that take place are awful pointless deaths and while there is a lot of style on display here, the film doesn't do much to counterbalance the tedium of nothing but gloom. There's nothing wrong with a noir film, which is really what this is. But the noir atmosphere should be in place with sharp creative writing and plotting.
The writing and plotting here is not terrible, but it's not that great either. This is really not a bad film, but it suffers from a relatively standard plotline, even though downbeat to the max, and also from a host of stereotypical characters and situations, not to mention some pedestrian acting, in spots. The lead actor playing Nigel does a relatively good job, but his wife and the gangster chief, known only as the President, can't seem to find their acting chops, nor can the President's henchmen.
The lighting is exceptional, and the cinematography/camera angles are actually pretty good. But another sore spot is the presence of Jimmie, the philosophy-spouting dope dealer who just can't shut up; whenever he gets going, he rambles on and on and on about the universe and a whole lot of psychobabble that drags the film pretty noticeably.
This is not the worst film I've seen. But it needed some greater depth of characterization. We know Nigel is desperate, but we never actually feel that. After all, he is managing to rent an apartment and put some food on the table. He has an ex-wife who he calls, mostly to talk to his son, but it's unclear whether he feels anything for her or not. There is a lot of emotional muddle here, which it feels like the filmmaker, David Noel Bourke, wants to "clear up" by having Nigel and the hooker, Tanya, engage in the aforementioned hot sex.
One suicide and a few murders provide the gloom and doom, and there's a dismemberment thrown in for good measure as well. Pretty depressing.
Not one of my favorites."