Star Rating:


Director: Erik Skjoldbjaerg

Actors: Stephen Lang

Release Date: Friday 11th April 2014

Genre(s): Thriller

Running time: Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Finland minutes

Based on a true story, and set against the early 80's backdrop when a massive oil and gas deposit was discovered off the coast of Scandinavia, we're initially introduced toPetter (Aksel Hennie) and his brother Knut (Andre Eriksen), two deep sea divers who are hired by the government and trained to break the world record for deepest dive so they can weld the transport pipes at the bottom of the North Sea. However, after Petter blacks out, potentially due to a tampered with air supply, a freak accident results in the death of his brother, and Petter - still suffering from side effects of the dive - goes on a relentless hunt for someone to blame. But these are Big Oil people he's messing with, folk with the means and will to make sure he doesn't dig too deep.

Director Skjoldbaerg, director of the original version of Insomnia which went on to be retold by Christopher Nolan, covers a lot of the same issues here as he did there; namely the aftermath and guilt of a death, coupled with the tricks of a broken, failing mind. But here things don't work quite as well for the director, almost as if he's afraid folk will think the plot is moving too slowly, and he continually overloads with a constant supply of information and new characters.

One of the biggest problems in Petter, a man who is understandable consumed by his situation, but he is played as a rather unlikeable character by Hennie. He's always forward momentum, accusing EVERYONE of EVERYTHING, with nothing in the way of proof or a single thought given to other people’s emotions. He even shows his brother's now-widowed wife the tape of him dying, for absolutely no reason! There's other issues with the film too; an antagonizing Wes Bentley just keeps popping up everywhere but with nothing to do, Stephen Lang as the American co-funder is just as cliched a bad guy as he was in Avatar, and the whole thing feels like a John Grisham novel played out on fast-forward.

Skjoldberg had a potentially great story here, and he disappointingly wastes it by telling a plot but not telling a story.