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Film Review: Gripping ‘Wallander: The Revenge’ Shames Most American Thrillers

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

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.

StarRead 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.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Wallander: The Revenge” review.

“Wallander: The Revenge” stars Krister Henriksson, Lena Endre, Sverrir Gudnason, and Jens Hulten. It was released at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago on May 25, 2012 and is also available with the other 12 episodes on DVD on Tuesday, May 29, 2012.

Wallander: The Revenge
Wallander: The Revenge
Photo credit: Music Box Films

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