Thursday 9 June 2022

REVIEW: Black Crab a.k.a. Svart krabba (2022) Starring Noomi Rapace, Aliette Opheim and Dar Salim

Review By Jon Donnis
What better viewing than a Swedish action thriller on a Thursday afternoon! Noomi Rapace leads in Svart krabba, or Black Crap for you non Swedish speakers.

"In a post-apocalyptic world, six soldiers on a covert mission must transport a mysterious package across a frozen archipelago."

Always in a post-apocalyptic world! Oh well.

The film starts off in what we quickly learn is a flashback scene, Caroline Edh (Noomi Rapace) is in a car with her daughter Vanja, they are stuck in a traffic jam, suddenly they notice that people ahead of them are leaving their cars and running towards and then past them, while taking a quick look, it soon becomes apparent that men with guns are approaching, so Edh and her daughter hide in the back of their car, they are soon dragged out of the car, and we fast forward in time. 

Edh, now a soldier, is getting off from a train. She is driven by her lieutenant to a base through a dangerous neighbourhood. Without warning she is stranded there, and is quickly attacked by the locals. She fights her way through them, killing some before escaping. She arrives at the base and is taken for a briefing with Colonel Raad (David Dencik). It is here she meets with other soldiers who have been recruited for a special mission. Karimi (Ardalan Esmaili), Malik (Dar Salim), Granvik (Erik Enge), and Captain Forsberg (Aliette Opheim).

Raad tells the team that their mission is to cross the ice-covered Stockholm Archipelago on ice skates, and deliver a package to the Ödö research base. The package could lead to victory in the war. They need to skate as the ice to thin for vehicles to cross.

Edh makes it clear that this seems like a suicide mission, but is convinced to go through with it with the knowledge that her daughter Vanja is at the base after being found in a refugee camp.

The next day the base is attacked, so they quickly leave, Forsberg falls through the ice while the secret package is attached to her. Edh jumps in, and realises that Forsberg is dead, retrieves the package and makes her way back to the surface, suffering with frostbite, the team help her.

So that is pretty much the opening few scenes to the film, to give you an idea of what is going on.

The film is in Swedish, and as I was feeling lazy, I put the English dubbing on, which was surprisingly good. Usually, any dubbing on Netflix is horrendous, but this was a pleasant surprise.

Noomi Rapace is an excellent actress; I do think however that she was limited by the script. And the script brings up a lot of issues, we don't really know who the enemy is they are fighting, we also don't know exactly how the package (which I won't reveal its contents) will actually be able to save anyone. And when you don't have plot points like this explained, and just left quite vague, it leaves the viewer in a position of not caring. Why should I care who the enemy is if the writers don't want to tell us.

With that said, the concept of the film is an original one, skating across a frozen archipelago to deliver a package, while people are trying to kill you, and you are trying to survive the elements. This leads to some beautiful cinematography, and the shock and horror of what you find along the way.

A strong performance by Noomi Rapace, and an emotional ending save the film which is a little long at nearly 2 hours.

The Good
Some great camera work, and strong performance from Noomi Rapace are the highlights of the film.

The Bad
Vague plot points, and characters that are hard to care about.

An original storyline and an excellent Noomi Rapace makes this film watchable, and despite the vagueness of a few things, as I have mentioned, this is still a film worth watching.

I score Black Crab a solid 7/10