A marvel of Scandinavian interior design concepts, wintry landscapes & gorgeous cinematography can't save this seemingly compromised thriller. The structure is completely backwards, the performances have no consistency & the film is full of side-characters & sub-plots that turn out to be disposable. Then it just ends. It's like someone took the entire 1st season of The Bridge & tried to cut it down to feature-length.
How a thriller can have so many familiar plot beats and still be incomprehensible is a mystery of filmmaking voodoo. Between Michael Fassbender being more lifeless than his valium use can explain and little narrative tissue between A and B, this is a painful slog enjoyable only to rifftrackers prurient enough to laugh at the name "Harry Hole." And the murky editing is signed by (say it ain't so!) Thelma Schoonmaker.
Great locations, cast, photo, ok soundtrack, great sound design, competent director and decent source material. BUT, all of this does not matter since the director did not get time enough to shoot the whole script. What we are left with are pieces of a story slapped together without much sense, motivation or agency. The biggest fault is the villain whose motivation is completely nonsensical. Train wreck!!!
I am trying to remember things about this movie and I can't, except that already when watching it I couldn't. Harry Hole has sex while Sigur Ros plays, I think. Wait, why did the killer build snowmen? Why is a homeless man on this case? Who are any of these characters? I think this gets political at some point? J.K Simmons is in this? What?
Somehow, a confluence of enormous talent comes together to make a film without a single redeeming feature. Essentially unfinished, what is on screen is still listless and dull (Harry Hole makes the detective in Night Game look positively dynamic). And why is this so badly edited? Schoonmaker's normally a genius. A complete and utter misfire