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JDIFF 2014 Reviews #8 – Pioneer, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Our eighth set of reviews from the 2014 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival are once again from Mick McGovern, follow him @amawaster, visit his site and read his Netflix recommendations for here.

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windowsThe 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann)

Director: Felix Herngren
Cast: Robert Gustafson, Iwar Wiklander, David Wiberg
Country of Origin: Sweden
Duration: 114 minutes
Year: 2013

A Swedish Forrest Gump seems to be the most used synopsis of this movie based on a best-selling book, and in fairness it’s accurate enough.

The film centres around Allan Karlsson, a 100-year-old man who likes to blow things up, likes a drink and doesn’t really get too bogged down with much else in life, decides to walk out of his retirement home on his birthday and go wherever he fancies. Things kick off when he’s asked to mind a suitcase for a very angry biker, and it’s soon revealed through intermittent flashbacks that he’s been the unknowing catalyst for a lot of situations in the past, some even important historically.

While never hinting at turning into Bad Grandpa 2, a good bit of the humour is lowbrow enough, but clever lowbrow, and most of the farcical set pieces or situations are handled very well. Definitely worth a watch if you’re looking for a light comedy.

pioneerPioneer (Pionér)

Director: Erik Skjoldbjaerg
Cast: Aksel Hennie, Wes Bentley, Stephanie Sigman
Country of Origin: Norway
Duration: 100 minutes
Year: 2013

Pioneer is a conspiracy thriller set in the early 80’s when American and Norwegian engineers were scrambling to build an underwater pipeline to bring massive oil reserves found in the North Sea ashore. When an accident occurs on a particular dive, what happened and who was to blame gets covered up. This compels Petter, a diver who was on that mission to figure out what precisely went on, placing himself in huge danger.

While “based on real events” a lot of the plot points and beats are very similar to other movies in the same vein and too generic to make it feel fresh. The performances on the whole are generally good and the underwater or confined sequences are very brilliantly conceived and captured, but overall I din’t find the film really gripping enough, but then again George Clooney’s bought the remake rights, so maybe it’s just me?