CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?
Film Review: Gripping ‘Wallander: The Revenge’ Shames Most American Thrillers
CHICAGO – Why can’t American studios make thrillers like “Wallander: The Revenge”? As a matter of fact, why can’t we make ones like the recent production of “Sherlock” or even “Luther”? Perhaps it’s something about producing for TV that gives people more creative depth but the best thrillers so far this year have been the three episodes of “Sherlock” and this week’s release of “Wallander: The Revenge,” opening at Music Box today and available next week in a massive DVD box set.
“Wallander: The Revenge” is actually the season premiere of the second series of TV episodes that aired on Swedish television in 2009. While you may be tempted to avoid something produced for TV, “The Revenge” has theatrical caliber production values and performances. If you didn’t know, you’d never guess that it wasn’t made with a theatrical release in mind from the very beginning. This season premiere is also included in a DVD box set from Music Box Films along with 12 more 90-minute films that will be released on Tuesday.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Wallander: The Revenge” in our reviews section.|
What separates “The Revenge” is simple and what’s so often missing from American thrillers — respect for the intelligence of its audience. This is complex stuff, not purely on a procedural level but on a thematic one. It’s a very daring script in the way it tackles not just the fear of terrorism but how people use that fear to their advantage and what a general atmosphere of instability can do to people. There’s no wacky asides or ill-conceived action pieces. Everything feels focused and driven, much like the film’s incredibly smart but haggard title character.
Wallander: The Revenge
Photo credit: Music Box Films