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Rancid
cast: Matthew Settle, Fay Masterson, Currie Graham, Patrik Ersgård, and Jay Acovone

director: Jack Ersgård

98 minutes (15) 2006
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Metrodome DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Christopher Teague
I think we've found a new sub-genre of crime story: Swedish noir. Unfortunately, what really spoils this feature is the simple fact that instead of being set in Stockholm it was filmed in New York - an original Swedish location would have added so much to the story, to make it stand out from the crowd; as it stands, it is pretty disappointing.

James Hayson, a struggling writer, attends a school reunion only to discover his sworn childhood enemy, Crispin Klein, is now married to his ex-girlfriend, Monica. Despite the risk, Monica and James re-ignite their passions and embark on an affair, which results in a murder and Hayson hounded by the police as the prime suspect, with the investigation headed by Hayson's friend, Detective Andy Fell.

As stated, the decision to set this in New York - obviously for financial and critical reasons (anyone else know of a crime story set in Sweden?) - is the films biggest downfall; a promising, if unoriginal, premise, is let down by a script written after a marathon session of just about every American cop show set in New York, with some quirky phrases which sound like they were badly translated ('the old dad' as opposed to 'the old man'?).

Jack Ersgård, who shows a promising flair reminiscent of David Fincher (many of the scenes are virtual copies of Se7en, photographed by Kjell Lagerroos), directs competently. Despite the failings of the screenplay, the cast acquaint themselves well - in particular Matthew Settle who plays Hayson, though both Monica and Crispin (played by Fay Masterson and Currie Graham, respectively) have the occasional bizarre character trait, which jars with what they previously did. Co-writer Patrik Ersgård plays Detective Fell.

To add to the negative score line, there is also a bad piece of deux ex machina plotting: a secondary character just appears and just so happens to hold the missing key. I just stared at the screen, mouth wide: Hitchcock this film ain't. The following morning after watching this film, I happened to see the DVD case in my local Blockbuster - when the only quote the distributor could find to print is a line from the Internet Movie Database then that more or less sums up what you'll be getting: a sub-standard thriller, that didn't even warrant a review from The Sun.

Which is a shame, since the cast show promise along with the director, yet it is the misplaced Americanism of the production that lets it down. Overall, if you have nothing else to watch then you could do worse with 90 minutes - but don't expect brilliance.
NEXT

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