Dir: Shaky Gonzàlez
Star: Erik Holmey, Mustafa Ali, Hector Vega Mauricio, Salah El Koussa

After a bad Tarantino-wannabe in No Right Turn, this probably can't claim to be much more original, but is an awful lot more enjoyable. It's got the fractured storytelling of Tarantino, but except at the end, never becomes needlessly muddied: Robert Rodriguez, Guy Ritchie and Sergio Leone are also obvious influences. It revolves around gangster Frank Lowies (Holmey, looking like a Danish Danny Trejo), who supposedly hid a stash of cash after a robbery went wrong, before the participants were all arrested. Four tattooes are rumoured to give the location of the ill-gotten gains, and Lowies' sons, as well as his accomplices in robbery, are in a race with each other to solve the puzzle and get the cash. However, on another level, the story is being told in a bar to two film-makers looking to make a movie about Frank - and the longer the telling goes on, the greater the number of people (mostly with a very peripheral involvement) that show up to give their version of events. Which may or may not help, or be any more accurate.

If you could easily spend your time picking out bits nicked from better-known film-makers, it would be a waste of time - you're better off just cracking open a beer and enjoying the ride here. The structure is actually near-genius: while it leaps back and forth [you don't see the robbery, until after the puzzle has almost been solved], the way things are set up, it makes logical sense to tell the story this way, which is more than Tarantino ever did. The characters are a likeable bunch of low-lives - another area where it scores heavily over No Right Turn - and the action sequences are well put together and edited. I will confess to not being entirely happy with the ending, which seems to be not as well-thought out as the rest of the film, though it would take another viewing for me to be completely certain of this fact. Most of this, however, is thoroughly satisfactory, and finishes our Danish streak on a satisfactory high.

[May 2011]

Once Upon a Time in Copenhagen
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