BECK - REVENGE: DVD
Three criminals are changing a tyre roadside having just stolen large amounts of explosives, when two policemen stumble onto them; when well known crim Dag Sjöberg (Shanti Roney) is recognized, he kills both cops in cold blood. Martin Beck (Peter Haber) and his team are assigned to the case and work day and night to find out who the killers are and what they are planning to do with the explosives before it's too late. Meanwhile, Beck's associate Gunvald Larsson (Mikael Persbrandt) who was a close friend of one of the murdered cops is ignoring all rules in his quest for revenge.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Snappy, riveting police procedural about Stockholm Detective Martin Beck (Peter Haber) has similarities with the best of the British in this genre, with well formed characters, interesting stories and tight direction. Peter Haber is terrific as Beck, a low key cop with a high success rate - and a broken home life. His no-fuss characterisation works beautifully in heated situations. No wonder he has helped run the 26 part TV mini series into the popularity stratosphere.
But this time, the focus is on Mikael Persbrandt's Gunvald Larsson, Beck's subordinate, whose policeman friend, Rickard Gudmunsson (Johan Kustus) is murdered by a nasty criminal, Dag Sjöberg (Shanti Roney). Gunvald is waiting with Rickard's wife Martina (Ingela Olsson) at their home, to celebrate her birthday, when the murders take place. A quick aside here: Olsson will be fondly remembered by the thousands of Australians who saw the Swedish film, As It Is In Heaven, which ran for over a year at Sydney's Orpheum.
Also noteworthy is Sophie Tolstoy as Sara, the newly assigned junior cop, adding friction and tension to the process for the impatient Grunvald.
Revenge is put together with muscular energy but without the excess of many Hollywood entries in the genre. There are plenty of reality checks and a great sense of danger that helps keep us on the edge of our seats.
The investigation gathers pace under the threat of a bombing, the expected result of the robbery, in which the thieves stole explosives - and only explosives - from an army base. Gunvald's quest for revenge makes him a dangerous loose cannon, and the script stitches together a tense, well paced drama as the hunt intensifies. Great technicals support the direction and performances, and the resolution contains elements of redemption for all concerned. But it's all handled with cool naturalism and plenty of light and shade. Excellent value and worth many encore viewings, as part of the two disc, 4-movie Beck set.
Published September 10, 2009
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BECK - THE MAN WITH NO FACE
BECK - THE CARTEL
BECK - REVENGE: DVD (MA)
CAST: Peter Haber, Mikael Persbrandt, Sophie Tolstoy, Marie Göranzon, Per Morberg, Ingvar Hirdwall, Rebecka Hemse, Shanti Roney, Matti Berenett, Martin Aliaga, Ingela Olsson
PRODUCER: Lars Blomgren, Borje Hansson
DIRECTOR: Kjell Sundvall
SCRIPT: Rolf Borjlind, Cilla Borjlind
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Olof Johnson
EDITOR: Thomas Tang
MUSIC: Adam Norden
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Lasse Westfelt
RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD [English subtitles]
SPECIAL FEATURES: Part of double disc, 4-movie pack;
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Aztec International
DVD RELEASE: August 2009