Don't panic when Jargana 2 pops up in the opening credits - you're not in the wrong movie. Scandinavian thriller False Trail is a sequel to the little-seen 1996 original but the good news is that won't affect you getting stuck into this whodunit. What will affect you is the outlandish running time.
When a local girl goes missing, a small hunting community somewhere in northern Sweden bands to together to search for her. Bully of a policeman Torsten (Stormare) points the finger of blame at local nutcase Jari (Milinof), as the town are just begging for an excuse to lock the wildcat up. However, big shot detective Backstrom (Lassgard) arrives from Stockholm to offer some impartiality and enrages the town when he finds proof Jari is not guilty. If not him, though, who?
Scandinavian police procedural thrillers are all the rage these days and False Trail should satisfy fans of the likes of The Killing and the Millennium Trilogy. It's cold, it's harrowing and wallows in the twisty investigation. Svundall, who also directed Jargana, is aware that there's a decent chance not many outside Sweden has seen the original and doesn't dillydally on backstory; in truth it might enrich the relationship between Backstrom, his dead brother's ex-wife Karin (Annika Nordin) and her son Peter (Kim Tjernstrom), with whom Torsten has shacked up with, but the lack of info here doesn't bog the story down.
And the story zips along thanks to its twisty nature and energetic performances: acting in his native tongue for a change, Stormare is a brute while Lassgard has a commanding presence. Eero Milinof, however, tries too hard to be the psycho; peering out from behind that greasy fringe he looks more like Vigo from Ghostbusters 2 than a genuine loony.
129 minutes might not sound outlandish but False Trail has only about 100 minutes of a plot before it descends into absurdity. A good half hour before time is eventually called, the audience and the police, are aware who the killer is and it's a long time to wait for the inevitable, undoing all the good of what was up until then an interesting thriller.
Review by Gavin Burke | 10:42 | Friday 7th December 2012 | Movie Review
This review is a bit harsh. I enjoyed False Trail. It's a well acted thriller with some good twists.Posted 18:29 | Wed 2nd Jan 2013
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