Inspired by the style of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher films (the executive producer), Black’s Game reflects the increasing violence in the Icelandic crime and drug scenes of the 1990s. It all starts with Stebbi meeting his childhood friend Tóti.
Reykjavik, 1999. A man is interrogated by the police. He was arrested the previous night after a fight. Stebbi can’t remember a thing about it – blind drunk again. In front of the police station smoking a cigarette, Stebbi meets his childhood friend Tóti, a no-nonsense guy with an enormous tattoo on his bald head, a goatee and frightful eyes. ‘If you have any problems, just give me a call,’ Tóti says, handing him a card.
Then Stebbi finds himself in a world of tough guys, athletic drug dealers, stunning blondes, mountains of coke, truckloads of ecstasy and other designer drugs, robberies and slaughter. The frames are askew, sometimes in split-screen. The colour pallet of this adrenaline-pumping crime thriller is dominated by the black of the night, the white of the snow and the red of the blood that flows copiously. In a voice-over, Stebbi provides a dry commentary.
‘Inspired by some shit that actually happened’, it says at the start of Black’s Game, the feature debut by Óskar Thór Axelsson. Based on the bestselling Icelandic gangster story Black Curse by Stefán Máni, it was executive produced by Nicolas Winding Refn, director of the Pusher trilogy and the recent hit Drive. –IFFR
Black as coal crime thriller from Iceland that takes place at the turn of the millennium just as a young agressive team take over the drug trade in the country. Performances are strong especially from Damon Younger who plays Bruno one of the most memorable pyschotics to come around in awhile. Final scene rings false but a pretty strong script throughout from the novel by Stefan Mani. Tough and memorable.