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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Movie Review - Pioneer

Pioneer (Pionér) (2014)
Starring Aksel Hennie, Wes Bentley, Stephanie Sigman, Jonathan LaPaglia, Ane Dahl Torp, Jorgen Langhelle, André Eriksen, and Stephen Lang
Directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

During the early 1980s, the Norwegian government was in the midst of beginning its program for oil harvesting.  During a test dive, Petter (Aksel Hennie) and his brother Knut (André Eriksen) are involved in a terrible accident.  Upon resurfacing, Petter discovers that this accident may not have been coincidental and may be the start of a large conspiracy involving the Norwegians and Americans' attempts to gain control of the massive amount of oil below the ocean's surface.

While a little slow moving at the start and quite a bit repetitive in the middle, Pionér is intriguingly based on a true story and this reality carries an inherent interest that makes even the dullest moments more watchable.  Aksel Hennie -- so good in Headhunters which is also streaming on Netflix (watch it!) -- more than ably anchors the film and creates a character whose paranoid demeanor following his brother's accident never seems forced or over-the-top.

Unfortunately, Erik Skjoldbjærg's film meanders, hitting much of the same dramatic notes over and over.  While the director more than adequately crafts the underwater scenes with tension, his surface-based suspenseful moments don't land as well.  Pionér is a worthy film with an interesting true premise, but it's not as successful as it probably should be.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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