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In Order of Disappearance


Stars: Stellan Skarsgard, Bruno Ganz, Pal Sverre Hagen, Kristofer Hivju, Tobias Santelmann, Peter Andersson, Dominique Delany, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen

Director: Hans Petter Moland

This Scandinavian black comedy noir lives up to its title: each character's name is flashed on to the screen, together with their religions(!), as they're killed off.

Dickman (Skarsgard, who also co-financed and co-executive produced) - much fun is made of the name throughout - is a Swedish-born highways operative and model Norwegian citizen; his snowplough cleanses everything.

Then his son, an innocent party when a crooked colleague appropriates a bag of heroin, is killed by gangsters - although the guilty man escapes and turns up just as Dickman, whose bereft wife has left him, is about to commit suicide.

Now, with the help of a name to pursue, he saws off the barrel of his suicide weapon and sets out on a trail of revenge.

One name leads to another, and soon three of the gang have been dispatched; like his snowplough, Dickman is out to cleanse the country of the bad guys. Problems arise when the Norwegian gangsters, led by the sneering Count (Hagen), believe their Serbian partners are double-crossing them and kill one of the sons of the Serb 'godfather' (Ganz).

Unaware of the impending showdown, Dickman kidnaps the Count's young son...

You sometimes wonder if director Moland is taking the Mickey here, so we're never quite sure whether to chuckle or thrill to the story. Skarsgard, however, plays it all with a dogged poker face, as does Ganz. The inevitable bloody shootout at the end, alas, is not particularly well handled, but, if you have a taste for Scandi-noir, you could find this snowplough-ride more rewarding than I did.

David Quinlan

Norway/Sweden/Denmark 2014. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour (unspecified).
115 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 09 Sep 2014