Well… I never thought I’d be watching this film today. It is the most random, perplexingly odd and obscure film I’ve ever seen. This film is in fact a Swedish made adaption of an English book, starring literally no actor I have heard of.
I would like to say I have never read the book, so I don’t know how similar this film is to the book and so I don’t care about that and I won’t mention it.
The film is fairly low budget, so the actors who star in it aren’t exactly big stars; but whoever they did bring in, they did a good job. Every character is unique and has their part to play, and all of them show tonnes of expression and tone. But the actors are helped by a fantastically written script (co-written by Felix Herngen, the director) that is filled with personality, subtle jokes and a dark, violent undertone in a mad, all-over-the-place plot that never fails to entertain and make you laugh; and through countless explosions and heads falling on car bonnets to a screaming woman, it is surprisingly dark.
The story really is all-over-the-place, so you don’t know what will happen next; whether it’s a dance with Franco or an accidental escape with Albert Einstein’s idiot brother, Herbert. It’s quite the silly film, if you hadn’t guessed.
But it wouldn’t have worked without the main character, the 100-year-old man himself: Allan Karlssen (Robert Gustafsson). He personifies the mad and slightly confused manner of the film and carries it through a telling of his life from the age of nine to where he is when he is 100 in flashbacks throughout the film, almost perfectly entwining with the main story; telling you what you need to know to get through it all and, in essence, truly develop the mad character that is Allan. By the end of it, you love him almost as a brother and you know pretty much all there is to know about him; and it works.
Yep. Spoilers are comin’.
However, the film wouldn’t have its dark and violent edge if the story hadn’t revolved around a violent biker gang – that I forget the name of – who constantly try to retain a brief case that Allan had taken by mistake from one of their members containing 50 million pounds. It is a simple, yet unpredictable story that leads from this; and the biker gang all end up being killed by Allan and his friend by mistake – other than one who is ran over and somehow ends up becoming their friend, of sorts.
No more spoilers. You’ll be fine.
Sometimes during the film, with the flashbacks, though, it seems like either the writing goes a bit lazy or it just goes too mad. There is too much talk of how much Allan likes explosions and sometimes it dwindles too much on the flashbacks, and then it simply gets confusing at points, the story a little too hard to follow; leaving you, at points, thinking: “What the hell is going on?!” And then there are silly things that just don’t quite need to be there and take up time in the film, but I won’t bother to talk about them.
But the flaws in this film are mostly overcome by everything that is good about it. It is charming, funny, likable, well acted, has some very good characters that all have their part to play, and, most of all, it is completely different from anything else I have ever seen and is an entertaining film to watch. When the film finishes, you are left feeling the same as the police officer at the end of it all: feeling confused, amazed and surprised.
There’s nothing spectacular about this film, but, as a quirky Swedish film about a 100-year-old man and his shenanigans with a crazy biker gang, it gets the job done; with a funny script, great characters and a unique story in a film filled with personality and a surprisingly dark under layer. It may dwindle a little too much on confusing flashbacks and the fact that Allan (the 100-year-old) likes explosions with a story that may be a bit too mad for the sake of it; but it’s still a very entertaining watch and definitely worth a go if you’re on Netflix or Amazon Prime, at least.
So I give it: 75/100.