You know those movies that tell you they’re going to be awesome during the opening five minutes? Well, this is one of them. Kraftidioten AKA In Order of Disappearance is a Norwegian black comedy you’re going to remember for the rest of your life. I’m not joking here folks, after you’ve seen this movie just once, anytime someone mentions a snowplow driver on the path of revenge, you’re going to say Kraftidioten. I mean, the premise is so simple and yet so effective that this was the only possible result. How many movies about snowplow drivers do you know? Apart from that The Simpsons episode Mr. Plow.
And please do not think that this is some obscure, artsy and boring European movie. This is an intelligent and gripping blend of black humor and action, in the vein of Fargo. Just add a lot more murders, pitch-black humor, and one hell of a revenge story and that’s it. In Order of Disappearance, which is the English title for this masterpiece, has a distinct Western vibe. Kind of like No Country for Old Men did. The sandy North American landscapes are replaced by snowy Norwegian landscapes but they look and feel basically the same. That feeling of loneliness and harsh and yet beautiful nature is overwhelming.
And it breeds a certain type of man. A harsh and yet just man. And in this case, since he’s played by Stellan Skarsgård, also a beautiful man. This is not the first time director Hans Petter Moland worked with him as they also made Aberdeen, one of my all-time favorites. I also have to say a few words about the title of this movie. Kraftidioten means a total idiot but not as in stupid but as in mean total idiot. And it’s a good description of all the chaos that’s about to happen. In terms of the story and the twists, Kraftidioten reminds me of Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
And I also detect a slight hint of another nineties crime masterpiece, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher. If you’re getting a feeling that I’m trying to hide the plot of this movie from you, you’re completely right. I will skip the whole summary section and hope that you will check it out on my word alone. After all, only the best movie recommendations get the coveted Rabbit Reviews Rating 10. Just to put that in perspective that’s about 10% of all movie recommendations on this site, around 170. And yes, that does mean that there are more than 1700 movie recommendations currently up for your browsing pleasure.
In Order of Disappearance is a movie offering Nordic escapism at its best. Our main character is a veteran snowplow driver who spent his whole life doing this seemingly menial job. And when you start thinking about it, it becomes more and more attractive. The scenery is simply stunning, the job is easy and on top of that of immense help to your local community. The only problem is that it might get a bit boring from time to time. However, if you’re looking for stable employment, helvete, it’s a perfect one.
Stellan Skarsgård gave another stellar performance along with the rest of the cast. All of them had one hell of a script to work with. Genuinely funny, creative, and intelligent, it can serve as an example to all the young writers out there. Although it does get a bit messy towards the end. Finally, there’s an English remake of Kraftidioten titled Cold Pursuit. It’s also directed by Hans Petter Moland and it’s actually quite good starring none other than Liam Neeson.
Director: Hans Petter Moland
Writers: Kim Fupz Aakeson, Finn Gjerdrum
Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Pål Sverre Hagen, Jakob Oftebro, Bruno Ganz, Sergej Trifunovic, Jon Øigarden
Fun Facts: The budget for the entire movie was just $2.5 million or $30 million Norwegian Kroner.