Set against the exquisite whiteness of Norway, In Order of Disappearance is a blood-bath of fun and fury. The white canvas doesn’t stay white for too long. Soon enough it is splattered with the vibrant red blood of many angry men. On the same night that he is awarded and recognised for his contributions to his community, Nils’ son dies from an apparent overdose. Something doesn’t seem right to the father who insists his son was no addict. As he gradually discovers who and what is responsible for his loved one’s death, he sets out on a bloody, revengeful mission. We constantly switch from Nils’ situation to the gangsters that he intends to slaughter. With the same dark, gory and comic appeal as the Coen Brothers’ Fargo, In Order of Disappearance is a delightful thriller that’s dripping in blood and satisfaction. When the film recognises each individual death, as they occur, it manages to split itself into a number of eerie chapters, each more exciting and fulfilling than the last. With Edinburgh Film Festival drawing to a close, I wasn’t expecting to be so wonderfully bowled over in the final days.
As Nils ploughs the roads of his Norwegian town, we watch two rival drug lords get their wires crossed. Mistaken identity, chance encounters, murder and paranoia make In Order of Disappearance energetic from start to finish. After every messy slaughtering comes Nils’ snow plough; covering the world in a crisp white blanket, waiting for the next massacre to arrive. Stellan Skarsgard plays the loving protagonist who, driven by his loss and grief, moves from man to monster. It is clear that losing his son stops him from concerning himself with consequences; now it is only the actions that matter. The film’s biggest villain is a cruel crime lord who also spends his time juicing carrots and embracing the vegan lifestyle. His metrosexuality and image consciousness makes for what seems like an infinity of laughs that are predominantly quirky and original. From visual humour, to quick witted dialogue, to the darkest depths of comedy that we feel guilty for laughing at, In Order of Disappearance is a clever, majestic adrenaline fuelled adventure into the cold climate of Norway and the cold hearts of criminals. Bruno Gantz is chilling as the rival drug baron whose involvement in the interwoven narratives adds another dimension to this black hearted concoction of crime, cool and the very very comical.
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