This movie came as a surprise to me. When it was first released it was praised by most of the Norwegian film critics as a very good film, some even went as far as calling it a masterpiece.
But this happens quite often with Norwegian films, our critics tend to give domestic films a higher score than usual. One critic in this case even admitted to have done so in her own review. She gave the movie 10/10 and called it a masterpiece "Seen with Norwegian eyes", but not that impressive seen with international eyes.
Now i hate this kind of criticism, i think that the nationality of the product. if it be music, film, games, painting or any other form of art, the criticism should be based on the end product as it stands. Though i also can understand that some get more emotional when they see their own language spoken in a film like this.
And by that i mean this. Norway does not make that many movies that has millions of dollars of special effects in them, that is rare. And here they spent over half the film budget on making the wave, which has like 2 minutes of screen time in total. And yes it does look quite impressive, i have to say.
I know a few people that has worked on making this wave and i remember i told them, that this is the one thing they cannot fail. If the wave does not look impressive, they can just give up and go home. Now i don't think my words had any impact on the production of the wave, just to clear that up :).
Anyways i did not know much about the story, only the obvious things. So i went into seeing this film with an open mind.
And here comes what is the best thing about this film. The buildup. Oh boy is this film impressively built up to the climax, oh yes it is. Actually there has been years since i have seen such a perfectly orchestrated start of a film. It spends just enough time with the lead actors and actresses to spark an interest in them, and then avoids it becoming boring and unnecessary, and also to finally show what this film is all about.
Then the climax itself is done very well. Actually i was very impressed indeed when the mountain burst and went into the water. Up till this point i almost could not believe what i saw, i was actually looking at something extraordinary. And that, felt really good. But, then comes the aftermath.
Now I'm not going to spoil anything here, but i will say this. The movie slowly gets weaker and weaker the closer to end we approach. The acting is above decent at all times, but the storytelling plummets in the last 30 minutes or so. They just have to add something to the film, and what they add is the most predictable of all things, family in danger.
And then on top of that they just borrow scenes from other movies, like the abyss, and portray them almost identical to the original scenes from those other movies. That is a shame. I wished they had spent some extra time coming up with something original. So the movie had something to deliver after the wave.
But sadly it does not. Had i stopped watching this film 25 minutes before the end, the movie would have felt like a 9/10. Impressive indeed. But the ending, as cliché as it is, does not par with the rest of the film, and thus brings the whole experience down.
To wrap it up i got to say, I'm going to watch the beginning of this film until the climax, many many times over the next few years, that is where they nailed it, and where they showed us it's still hope for action films made in my country.
And Ane Dahl Torp is looking better and better the older she gets, which is even more impressive. And she does one of her best performances.
Kristoffer Joner also delivers a steady and really good performance.
Verdict: 7/10 - Quite good
First 50 minutes: 9/10 - Very good. (I just had to add that).