söndag 3 april 2016


Previously on Johan Falk:

Where the fuck do I even begin? All kinds of shit GSI has been up to. Illegal police procedures, shootings, harassments, civilians getting killed and so on. The list goes on and on and on and on and on.


This is a really good one. Everything the first series has built up to comes to a head. The GSI actually becomes the outlaws as the dirt they have been up to surfaces to the public. I really like this chapter as it is also thrilling and more Frank Wagner with a more substantial role to play and the whole shebang has explosions and biker gangs and shootings. What more could you ask for?

I´ve been moaning on a couple of the later Falk-entries, but this one  rival the best in the series. I think Operation Nightingale and Leo Gaut has other strengths besides the action parts, but they felt a bit like sideways chapters that tried to deepen some stuff. And I appreciate that shit now, more than before. They are crucial to Falkology. Crucial in understanding the teachings of the world of Johan Falk. I like them more now than before. I may have grown as a person because of them. Hopefully. Perhaps. But not likely.

Plot talking:

The district attorney´s house has been bombed, and GSI wants to find out who did it. They suspect a biker gang as the D.A had built a case against them. Turns out they are wrong. But who is it that targets representatives of the Swedish court of law? Also it turns out the actual attorney was away and someone else took the hit who was in the house at the time.

The media is most certainly interested in the investigation of the bombing of a district attorney and everything leads back to a case in which a former GSI-member Tommy (who got killed. See Part 4 of this beautiful saga) manipulated evidence to gain a conviction. The individual that got the conviction has seemingly targeted the Swedish justice system. Cops, attorneys you name it. The war on law has begun.  But why?

The bad guys has targeted the individuals as they are representatives of law and order and a specific case,  but the real culprits were GSI. They were the ones fabricating the evidence and gave the investigators and the district attorney the material on which they built the case. The higher up’s, despite them accepting and silently enforcing this type of institutional policy will have nothing to do with GSI now. What assholes, GSI are now hunted. They are now the outlaws. Johan Falk with the help of Frank Wagner must clean up this mess before more bombings and assassinations on the Swedish justice system.

The personal problems between Sophie and her husband leads to him leaking to the press about GSI methods of using civilian infiltrators. And more people get hurt. There is also a very good scene in which she bitch slap the husband when she founds out.Pretty funny and not always you see that in movies.  



I would also take this time on making people more aware of Sophie as a female character. She is awesome and will later on play a larger part in things to come.

Frank is still stuck in the stupid-ass Catch 22-machinery of GSI. Johan wants his help tracking the bomber and who and why is targeting the district attorney. Falk forces him yet again to something and also gives Frank a half-assed promise that this is the last he will ask of him.

Jibber jabber:

The whole mentality of getting quick results to show for media is culminating in a long spiral of non-transparent activity and police work. And now that media has found out about the  questionable work ethic, GSI is being hung out to dry.  But are they really the ones to blame?

For Falkologists, it is also interesting to note that we see for the first time in the last few movies Johan Falk operating for a short time outside the law, When the higher up´s want him to come in. for debriefing he basically tells them to go to hell.
Falk basically tells his superior "Have a lovely day,assholes"
 way before Schwarzenegger does the same in Escape Plan.
Too bad Falk never gets to do anything awesomelly illegal while GSI is ostracized , but you have to enjoy the little things you get in life.

As the whole story of this series is based on an actual case, we can see here the real problem is not GSI. The ones in charge are the ones that made this whole situation possible. A situation that people are put in impossible situations in a world that is governed by no rules but self-preservation.

A question could be asked that what good does that type of policing do. What kind of damage would that do to a democracy in the long run? When the loss of belief in the system increases would that lead to increase in private policing? Would that be more of an acceptable thing? What happens to due process then? Public insight and transparency into the operations? Would it be the same thing? 

It´s an exciting thriller that rounds up everything the previous movies has shown us and this one deals with consequences. The series has been just as much about Falk as Wagner, even though Franks participation in  the later ones were mostly smaller, it still gives the impression that he is part of this world whether he likes it or not Frank is getting drawn in, when Johan has no other way of tackling a situation. Frank becomes that easy go-to guy, which really is not fair. But there you go. What a shit world one can live in.

The bad guy who seeks revenge on certain individuals within the law enforcement holds a personal grudge because of how GSI stitched him up. The shit GSI made against him led to a tragic personal disaster in which his wife and daughters were raped/killed/suicide. It was a pretty complicated explanation in a heavy expositional sequence between Frank and Johan, so I can´t really remember the exact details. As a scholar within Falkology I should be ashamed of myself. But I am also a lazy bastard and have also poor attentional skills.

"Blablabla... and then this stuff happened.. Blablabla.
Johan, do you even pay attention to what I am saying?"

After seeing Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice and seeing those two righteous assholes deal with their own ideologies surrounding crime fighting, I sure would like   to see Martin Beck confront Johan Falk in Beck v Falk: Dawn of Swedish justice. Two film genres on confronting different ways to deal with crime.

We get insight into a police organization that series like Beck or Wallander are not very interested in. Those movies are more about the hum drum police legwork. Procedural stuff. And it´s very boring.

At the end of the film, Falk actively helps Frank out of a dangerous situation and in some way tries to redeem his previous actions.

De fredlösa is a very good roundup of what we have learned in Falkology so far about Swedish police work. It is painted with shades of grey and is not a very glamorous depiction. It is a very disturbing depiction of how an organization are more concerned with quick results, but as the heat is turned on, they shift the blame. 

This type of depiction is nothing new to cop action movies. I use Dirty Harry a lot in comparison to Johan Falk, (I fucking love Dirty Harry as you can tell) but those movies are templates from which a certain type of movie operates. They may not make a lot of these types of films anymore over in Hollywood, but look at The Dead pool (no, not the Marvel character), the last Harry Callahan film in which his superiors seem more concerned with media attention. But deals with it in such a shallow way. The movie itself is a sleazy populistic 80´s film. Which makes it definitely fit in with the Dirty Harry canon as the original was a sleazy 70´s populistic film, But here the idea  is dealt more sincerely. How would a police organization functio that would work under such a mandate of appeasing the masses with fast results.. The institutional workings are interesting.

And as it is based on an actual case, one can question the mentality and the pressure that certain institutions are under to deliver, when it is mostly about short sighted easy-to-portray work that media can present.   Is this the kind of police work we are facing in a media hungry world

This shot of Frank at the end of the movie is haunting and beautiful.

It is also set to Bengt Nilssons exceptional score on which I have yet to acknowledge here on this blog.. But his music is an important part of the series and can be both powerful, melodramatic and beautiful at times. A Swedish Hans Zimmer.

Johan Falk will return in Spelets regler

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