Previously on Johan Falk:
All the bad shit GSI was up to became public and a lot of the crazy shenanigans came back and hit the crime fighting organization hard in the ass. As a result it made them for a short time a lawless bunch of people. Falk and Wagner did the best they could to cover their asses. They did and it sort of worked out.
GSI is still around, but apparantly has new management. Good. Maybe they can get rid of the cut corners-mentality and stretching/breaking the law. Hopefully this will become an organization of public transparancy that truly belong is in this day and age and befitting a true modern democratic society.
Frank Wagners position is still an uncomfortable one. One could expect it would have been eased by now. He has officially quit as civilian infiltrator and is on his way yo become a successful resteranteaur after a successful opening night. For personal reasons Wagner gets in bed with GSI again. The brother of Franks fiancee gets dead, Wagner feels responsible for getting the boy that way as Frank was indirectly responsible when giving friendly advice surrounding money lending problems with scrupelous individuals
At the same time GSI is after the top men behind the smuggling of a new drug into Sweden. White Gold. One of copaction movies more famous tropes is that "there is a new drug out there that kills young people". It is a well established type of setup to use, why fix what is not broken when it works?
Franks and Johans interests meet and once again Frank is back in the murky misty world that is undercover infiltration.
Spelets regler starts off very James Bond-ish with Falk in a tuxedo at a casino attempting to work as an undercover cop.. A entrapment is in the works, but as usual things turn to shit, and people gets dead. It is a fun scene as it shows a little of what this film has in store for us. Plenty of these little James Bond/Mission Impossible setups with sting operations and other spy movie tropes. They are usually very prominant in these films, but this one seem a lot like a spy movie in particular.
|"My name is Falk,Johan Falk"|
Watching some of Anders Nilssons old action films from the 80´s ( waay before the Falk-movies) they are usually filled with the kind of espionage nonsense (Russian Ninja a.ka Russian terminator is a good example), so there is definitely a flavour of the spy genre in these post-theatrically released Falk movies as well. I would argue that this is a far much better movie than Russian Ninja. Except for the severe lack of Ninja. A serious offense. Movies are by default better when they have ninjas in them. It is scientifically proven. When will Johan Falk do battle with ninja?
Oh, and here is a "great" dvd cover for that particular film. This is the one I have myself:
|What wonders Photoshop can produce!|
There are more obvious connection to the world of 007. Remember From Russia with Love, there is a scene in which Rosa Klebb and kronsteen stands in front of Blofeld trying to desperately explain why they have failed. There is a bit of suspension of which of them gets murdered, There is a similar scene in which Frank stands in front of the pakistan mob boss being confronted with the possbibiltu that he might be a snitch. The guy behind him, Vijay Khans head of security bites the dust instead.
Compare that to the similar scene in Spelets regler:
Some similarities, I´d say.
The murkiness continue as one elaborates on the characters in the series
Wagner, like Leo Gaut is a restaranteaur highly involved in crime. What really seperates Wagner and Gaut from a morally point of view? They both have cooperated with the police, they also have murdered people. As the Gaut story arc taught us, there was more to his person than just the ruthlessness. But Wagner is also a highly ruthless person, when it comes to protecting his identity and his family. As we will later see, he never hesitates to shoot someone when that is the case.
It is about perception of a person we get from which images, sounds and a narraytive that are selected for an audience.. It is through all that we build up whether we like a character or not. Food for thought.
Some disturbing events unfold when Johan makes Frank work with a bunch of drugdealing morons who deals this new White Gold to university students .Heaps of dead students are headline material.We are just in film one in the new series and already this shit happens? Way to go, GSI.
Some final ramblings and thoughts:
*There is also this connection between Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon and Johan Falk ; Throughout the films Johan goes from isolated loner to family man. Same trajectory Riggs has in Lethal Weapon 1-4. Also; Falk tries to quit smoking, like Riggs does in LW3. I have yet to see Falk use dog biscuits as a substitute. Falk seem to favor nicotine chewing gum which is a bit boring as a comaprison to dog biscuits.
*Falk gets to do some cool stuff in this one. He beats the shit out of a couple of bad guys with a pipe. Shoots another one multiple times and later makes an enemy out of his neighbour with a chainsaw.
*There also are some twists and fun moments that Spelets regler contains. The sting operation in the climax has a good mix of all the sorts of clandestine Mission Impossible stuff. Making good use of the plot and conflicts being set up throughout the film. Unfortunatly it is a bit bogged down with so much that is going on, which is only natural as this is the first one in a new series of films. But is impossible to discuss in a simple blog post.
Next time on Johan Falk: Gothenburg nazis!.....I hate Gothenburg nazis.