Film #181: The Master Plan (2015)

jonssonliganaka: Jönssonligan: Den perfekta stöten
Director: Alain Darborg
Language: Swedish with a little English, Russian, Finnish
Length: 91 minutes
Watched on: 6 January 2016 (return flight 3/3)

This was my risky wildcard movie on the plane – I think I couldn’t find any more English movies I wanted to watch, and they had a selection of various European countries’ movies. It’s a movie about a group of criminals doing a heist, a bit like Ocean’s Eleven but not as high-budget.

I found out when I looked it up online when I got home that the movie is part of a series, and is intended to be a reboot of that series, which was actually long-running in the 80s or something but pretty much unknown outside of Sweden. Apparently one of the characters changed gender inbetween times, too, so a lot of the comments on IMDB were either “This character is amazing as a woman” or “She sucks”. I thought she was good, personally.

I wouldn’t quite go so far as to say I’d struck gold with this movie, but… let’s say you get an bad wheat-to-chaff ratio when you rummage around the foreign-language section of airplane entertainment systems, and plane movies have been such a mixed bag for me recently, that I was glad that this movie was funny and passed the time well. I think its overall success will be and has been necessarily hampered by being in Swedish and it will not really get an audience outside its home country.

The pacing, especially at the beginning, reminded me a lot of Sarah Manning’s antics in the first two episodes of Orphan Black before all the shit went down, and the movie was well-paced as a result. The characters are easily-caricaturable archetypes, and the movie is stronger as a result: this is not the kind of movie that would take kindly to subtlety.

Compared to the other Swedish movies I’ve watched, it’s a far cry from Ingmar Bergman, and the Millennium trilogy is much darker, so I was glad to see some more diversity in the kinds of movies I see from that country. But since those other kinds of movies make the bulk of Sweden’s exported movies, one shouldn’t expect greatness from this, if one happens to find it available somewhere. It’s entertaining, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch the sequel.

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