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With Jim Sabatini

In Order of Disappearance

In Order of Disappearance
Stellan Skarsgard, Pal Svenne Hagen and Bruno Ganz

Rated: R for bloody violence, and language throughout.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 26, 2016 Released by: Magnolia Pictures

The pacing may not be as whip-smart as some of the editing indicates, but this Norwegian revenge thriller starring Stellan Skarsgard (Our Kind of Traitor, Good Will Hunting) merits a slow rollout theatrical release after being in a two year stasis before reaching the States.

Hans Petter Muland's In Order of Disappearance (multi-lingual in English subtitles) has a given and take with tension and humor which still somehow works because of how it uses its slender premise to its advantage from Skarsgard's milquetoast Swedish snowplow operator Nils in rural Norway.

His son Ingvar toiling at the nearest major airport hub apparently gets in with a shady faction and is reportedly found dead of a drug overdose. But, dad, a law-abiding 'Citizen of the Year', senses foul play in the fatality and takes matters into his own hands, just like Charles Bronson did in Death Wish.

The titular recognition of deceased (a high body-count, indeed) serves as a running gag in what unfolds with a noticeable wry foreboding with Nils not having expert skills like characters depicted in studio films like Taken or The Equalizer. However, he does accomplish much from what could be considered an anonymity in his rote work in turning vigilante. An incipient role for a gang war to develop between a swaggering hot-headed vegan mob boss known as The Count (a preening Pal Svenne Hagen) and Serbian syndicate head Papa (Bruno Ganz, doing his version of a famous Marlon Brando character).

As expected, Muland pulls off some lurid, grisly interludes, but allows it to be more interpretative than expected with Hagen's amusing ebullience contrasting well with Skarsgard's savvy stoicism. The filmmaking espouses the happenstance, climate community-based presence, and in-too-deep situations prevalent say in The Coen Bros.' Fargo. See this outrageous action comedy especially for the hard-working presence of Skarsgard who always has a dose of whimsy ready if needed, but it has a resonant thematic connection in the good, the bad, and the ugly in a paternal unity, even fidelity of sorts.

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