Previously on Johan Falk:
Helens ex-husband Örjan appears and wants to spend more time with his family. That does not go well with Johan as it is his family as well.
Meanwhile the fragile and uneasy alliance between GSI cop Sophie and gang leader Seth is still an uphill struggle for Sophie.
A couple of movies back, we got introduced to Örjan ( Johan Hedenberg) who all of a sudden wants to spend time with Nina and Helen, now Johan’s family and his responsibilities. Johan does not like this at all. Also Örjan as a property developer is not as clean-living as he seems. Unbeknownst to everyone else Örjan has brought some shady people to their front door. People that are a small part of something much larger.
Örjan owes some Estonian gangsters a lot of money and when he fails to come up with the cash, they kidnap Örjans daughter Nina, Johan’s step-daughter in this case.
Now, Johan goes Liam Neeson and starts to go after the bad guys.
Finally we get to see Johan go rogue again. That hasn´t really happened since The third wave and for some of these films Falk has kind of disappeared in favor of other characters. If I have to be critical, there has not been as much of him as the lone wolf super cop. In Rules of the Game he got to do some shooting and punching. And now "The Falk" finally gets into some serious action. And we all love to see him kicking ass and taking names.
I think it works having someone like Falk in a position in which his methods do not stick out like they used to. The action set pieces that the first and second series has surrounded him with other officers, very rarely has he been doing some awesome shit by himself.
But once in a while you want to see him going off on some bad ass mission of his own.
And now that it has become personal, the situation is perfect for that.
You could also say this is the movie in which the Eastern European mob has started to take notice of him. Which will in the next series play a central role.
Also we get to see Johan at the cemetery where his girlfriend Maria is buried. We haven´t seen this since Executive Protection so it is nice to see him as he is about to get married to Helen that he is about to let go off his past. Just like Martin Riggs does at the end of Lethal Weapon 4.
Johan Falk buries the past to lay foundation for the future. And makes him even more involved to what happens to Nina. It is not like he needed prior motivation to go after the bad guys. But as they kidnapped his future, he digs up his old self and does what used to do to get results.
(Wow, that is some nice bullshit I wrote right there.)
Also, Seth manipulates Sophie for his own monetary gain. He is about to lose his house to executive auction, so he needs some dough. He gives this bullshit speak about living elsewhere and asks of Sophie of giving him a list of convicted child molesters to a particular neighborhood he is thinking of moving to.
She wants information of him of the Estonians gangsters that have kidnapped Nina, so she gives into his demands, unknowingly that what she is doing is handling him a specific target that Seth wants to get money from and as a result the guy ends up dead. More GSI shady shenanigans. This will also come back later in the next series.
It feels like a lot of chess pieces are put on a board in this film. Stuff that will be important or referenced to later. In a lot of these films we get taught time and time again of how GSIs work has real consequences. But a larger plot is at work here
I like the scene in which Johan is interrogating a bad guy next to a this disgusting looking pool of non-healthy looking water. He convinces the bad guy that it contains toxic waste.
The water was merely real dirty. Nice to see renegade cops only bullshit enough to get the information, not torture the shit out of them like Neeson does in Taken
I´ve read a complaint on the imdb page of this movie from an Estonian viewer about the depiction of eastern europeans accents and that they are all over the place
Here is a quote:
the choice of actors depicting non-Swedes and their character names are a real mess: an Estonian in Sweden is performed by a Bulgarian, a Lithuanian Russian has completely Estonian name and is played by a Finnish Swede, a Russian from Estonia has Yugoslav name and is played by a Finnish Swede etc. The outcome is communication in horrible Russian which was really difficult and annoying to listen.
[taken from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2279838/]
I can understand if this can be a problem with foreign viewers if they see a language discrepancy. Also, reading and trying to seperate which one is from what country is a bit confusing as the mob depicted in the film transcends borders.
If the complaint is accurate it is a shame that a series taking pride in realism don´t go to the effort of recreating the accents and dialects or names that are accurately depict the demographic of the eastern european countries.
I am not sure how much I actually care of the absolute accuracy of this. For me as a Swedish viewer I never pay attention to accents, the demographics and such that are foreign to me in these films, but I can understand how other audiences can find it irritating. I know, because when sometimes American movies try to depict the Swedish language they almost always do a pisspoor job of it. Unless they hire Swedish actors, like in Kingsman or Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.
Last remaining thoughts:
One thing I found particularly enjoyable in this movie was the scene in which Falk is determined to go after the kidnappers. His boss Patrik calmly says that as he is a relative Falk can´t work the case. But he also knows he can´t hold hem back. So he says to Johan that he will put him on period planning for vacation. Meaning what he does on his spare time is his own private matter. Only a real super-cop takes out the criminal garbage his way on his own time. Hell,yes!
|"As a relative the rules state you can´t work on this"|
|"But fuck it. Let just say you have gone fishing on vacation"|
That is awesome. In action films, when the rogue cop wants to take things into his own hands getting scolded by the captain and then takes sick leave or vacation days in spite so he can do what needs to be done. That is a trope of action cinema. here it is the chief that suggest vacation leave as to get around the system. That is GSI for you.
I love that. In fact it inspired me to write a poem. And it would be fitting to end this post with it.
Ode to Johan Falk
When Falk goes after the bad guys he will not stop
Shoot every one of them til they drop
To the chiefs in charge he will not cater
As he probably will lose his job sooner rather than later
But the chiefs only care for nothing but result
For due process and democratic law that is a big insult
Next time on Johan Falk: Johan Falk gets shot ...by a damn kid.