This is the Icelandic film that garnered so much deserved attention when it first hit the screens back in 2008. It stars Baltasar Kormakur as Kristofer, he is working as a low paid security guard. This is after he lost his job on the ships due to alcohol smuggling. Iceland has stupidly high tax on alcohol and so there are big bucks to be made in smuggling it in. He has done time for his crime but took the rap for his co smugglers, this includes best mate Steingrimur. He is also married to his ex wife, but Steingrimur seems very keen to help in their hour of need, probably too helpful.
Anyway money is tight and so Kristofer gets cajoled into doing one more job by Steingrimur, so with the money in place and a willing crew he sets off. Problem is Steingrimur has his fingers in a lot of pies and interests in Kristofer that go beyond his smuggling capabilities. Meanwhile Kris and co get sidelined in Rotterdam with a very unsavoury character indeed and all merry hell kicks off.
This is the most expensive film ever from Iceland and it does show, it is well directed, acted, shot and perfectly paced for that thriller atmosphere that can either make or break a film. It has been remade in the US as 'Contraband' starring Mark Wahlberg, but Baltasar Kormakur directs it.
This is high octane, gripping, violent and actually funny on more than one occasion; so an all round ruddy treat. I have not seen the remake but as this was so good I will give it a whirl. There are enough twists to keep you guessing right up until the end, and yet this is one that you will get more out of on subsequent viewings as there is just so much packed in. If this is what Iceland can do then I wish them every success ' in Icelandic, Dutch and some English, and a fair bit of cuss words this is one for action thriller fans and anyone who likes World cinema.