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AT WORLD'S END

SYNOPSIS:
In the Sumatra jungle, a pompous British TV anthropologist stumbles onto a new species of plant - but before he can disclose its whereabouts he is killed by angry locals led by mysterious Danish national Severin Gertsen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Young Danish Prison System criminal psychologist, Adrian (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), is sent to Jakarta to interview Severin (who is now in police custody) and establish a defense of insanity. Severin, who looks to be in his mid 30s, is claiming he is 129 years old - thanks to the properties of the mysterious plant. Adrian and his feisty assistant Beate (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen) fly to Indonesia but during interrogation, they and Severin escape. They flee into the jungle pursued by the police, the Indonesian army and a criminal gang led by Jack (Steven Berkoff). Everyone wants to find that plant ...

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
An unpredictable entry in the action comedy drama genre, At World's End begins on a flat note with poor acting (with a spoofy take on naturalist David Attenborough) but quickly finds its tone - and performances instantly improve with the arrival on screen of Nikolaj Lie Kaas as Adrian, and continue with the cheeky and delightful Birgitte Hjort Sorensen as Beate his adroit and lovely assistant. Nicolas Bro, playing a supporting role as the Danish Consul, also adds to the star line up, as does a wickedly relaxed performance by Steven Berkoff as the gang leader.

The plot revolves around the exotic flower that Danish national Severin Gertsen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) guards with his life when we meet him in the Sumatra jungle. The screenplay delivers a thrilling chase element as the protagonists escape and there is both action and drama, with a spectacular helicopter sequence above the jungle. Down on the jungle floor, too, there are some beautiful locations for the action and the dialogue is lively and often wryly funny.

The interaction between Beate and Adrian is built on a flirtatious running gag which relies on Adrian's resistance to women - which Beate mines for all its rom-com possibilities. It is largely due to these two performances that the film is as entertaining and involving on one level, while retaining its thrills factor on another.

The Indonesian prison system gets a raspberry as Adrian and Severin enjoy the rough hospitality of the torture room, making a nice contrast with the beauty of the countryside. Neatly but not cloyingly tied up at the end, the story is entertaining and the technicals are great.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

AT WORLD'S END (M)
(Aust/Denmark/Germany, 2009)

Ved verdens ende

CAST: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Nicolas Bro, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Birthe Neumann, Ulf Pilgaard, Steven Berkoff, Bille Brown

PRODUCER: Daniel Baur, Johanne Stryhn Felding, Tivi Magnusson, Cathy Overett, Christian Potalivo, Oliver Simon

DIRECTOR: Anders Thomas Jensen

SCRIPT: Tomas Villum Jensen

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jan Richter-Friis

EDITOR: Anders Villadsen

MUSIC: Dale Cornelius

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Michelle Sotheren

RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: IFM/Filmways

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Melbourne: August 5, 2010 (other cities to follow)







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