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Review of Noomi Rapace films, the action comedy ‘The Trip’ and the action-thriller, ‘Black Crab’
NOOMI Rapace is a Swedish actress who achieved international success in 2009 with “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and its two sequels.
Hollywood then got her and she starred in mainstream films like “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows”, “Prometheus”, “Rupture”, “Unlocked” and others.
She has made a reputation as a fearless action star in “Close”, “Bright” and “Seven Sisters” (also known as “What Happened to Monday”), where she played seven different roles. We’ve just seen her in “The Trip” (Norwegian) and “Black Crab” (Swedish) and she’s outstanding in both films that are now available on streaming channels.
“The Trip” is a black comedy about a husband and wife who have hidden intentions of trying to kill each other while spending a weekend in a remote cabin in the mountains. Halfway through, it turns into a violent action flick where the action scenes border on being cartoonish.
Noomi is Lisa, a struggling actress, and her husband Lars (Aksel Hennie) is a struggling director. They’re both disgruntled with their failing careers and each other. Unknown to one another, they’ve both prepared to murder each other in the weekend.
But they both bungle it. Lars even asks the help of a friend, Victor (Stig Henriksen), to help him in dismembering Lisa’s corpse, but Lars ends up doing something else to poor Victor. While he and Lisa are fighting over a shotgun, it goes off and hits the ceiling which collapses, revealing three escaped convicts who are hiding in the attic.
These are Petter (Atle Antonsen), Dave (Christian Rubeck) and Roy (Andre Eriksen), all serial killers. One of them wants to rape Lisa and another one wants to sodomize Lars. What follows is a series of violent encounters between them when Lisa and Lars manage to escape and fight back.
Lars’ dad even gets into the picture trying to help save them. The action scenes are spiced up with hilarious comic touches and all the bad guys, including some of the good ones, get the brutal punishment they deserve.
The movie comes up with a neat and hilarious ending which, of course, we wouldn’t reveal as it will be a spoiler. There’s a flippant touch in the way the story is told and structured, with relevant flashbacks suddenly flashing on screen to explain what is going on.
The violence can be quite gratuitous and exaggerated but it’s all part of Director Tommy Wirkola’s intentional cheekiness for the movie. One man has his arm mangled by the motor of a boat while another one had his intestines shredded by a lawnmower.
Both Rapace and Hennie are respected Scandinavian actors and they know how to ham it up and milk the wicked sense of humor of the gory situations they get into, with just the right level of craziness. Somehow, we get to empathize with them in their bloody, whirlwind journey to survival.
“Black Crab” is an apocalyptic action-thriller set at a time when a dystopian world is torn apart by war. It starts with Edh (Noomi) and her daughter Vanya hiding inside a car when soldiers track them down and takes Vanya away from her mom.
In the next scene, some years have passed but the movie will repeatedly go back to that opening scene to show viewers what really happened. Edh, now a soldier, is seen inside a train where she is told to get off and then taken to a military base.
Edh is a topnotch ice skater and she is teamed up with four men on a special mission. The camp’s leader tells them they are supposed to a deliver a special package to a research base at the other end of their archipelago.
The secret contents of the package will help them win and stop the war. Their team should cross the archipelago and its frozen seas while on ice skates and under the cover of darkness as they’ll be crossing behind enemy lines.
Edh points out that it will be a suicide mission, but she is given an incentive that she cannot afford to turn down. Her long lost daughter will be waiting for her at the research camp.
So the team leaves and their dangerous journey starts amidst the icy surroundings. It’s easy to guess that not all of them will survive. Aside from the precariously thin icy surface that can easily break to plunge them into frozen waters, there are so many other hazardous situations that they have to encounter along the way.
To begin with, it turns out that some of the members of the team are not to be trusted and seem to have their own personal agenda. The plotting offers some twists along the way to its explosive climax where Edh is forced to make a sacrifice.
The movie’s very bleak and chilly atmosphere is really something quite new onscreen. It has all the necessary elements to grab you and hook you on a thrilling ride on an icy landscape. And the camera work as it follows the ice skaters on the ominous, forbidding expanse of ice is truly gripping and spectacular.
We just wish that the script has given us more back story on why the world has gone so bad. It never really tells us what is going on in the rest of the world and somehow, that lessens the impact of Noomi’s final sacrifice at the film’s climax.