Being one of, if not the most expensive movie in the history of Norwegian film, in addition to getting great reviews in every single newspaper, I had quite high expectations for Free Jimmy. The over-hyping alone might've been a problem, with TV spots, interviews and the fact that the movie had been in production since 1998, but it still should've been funny - at least once. I can admit that I smiled a couple of times, but I never laughed - unlike the guy next to me at the cinema, who even burst out in laughter between scenes.
Using technology from 1998, the movie looks dated. I wasn't expecting Pixar quality, of course, but the movie looks too... well... 1998. Norway does look like Norway, in a comic-style nutshell, with a color palette consisting of brown, brown, brown and grey. And there are quite a few nice details, like rust, cracks and dirt, but it just feels wrong. I usually enjoy gritty movies, but in this case it just made the visuals boring to look at. Sure, it is a film about drugs and society's outcasts, but variety would be nice.
And then we have characters and dialogue. The characters themselves are quite well-developed from the beginning, with different personalities, but they don't "grow" during the film, and are all regional stereotypes. However, what this film really lacks is good dialogue. It relies on the dialects of the characters, combined with moaning and swearing, but no real humour. The (Norwegian) voices were given by talented people, but like usual, Norwegian dubbing comes out forced. There are a couple of exceptions, like radio host Are Sende Osen, but all in all, the film was like a nightmarish version of the dubbed Disney VHS cassettes of my childhood. I would actually prefer to watch the English version, even though an English speaking sami wouldn't make much sense.
To sum it up, Free Jimmy was a disappointing 80 minutes long version of "To Trøtte Typer", that was over before anything really happened, and had an ending that felt rushed. While Terry Gilliam succeeded in making a twisted and enjoyable flick about drugs and strange characters with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Christopher Nielsen's Free Jimmy doesn't quite cut it.