Ah, Scandi drama. It's so hot right now. Bleak landscapes, dramatic characters, twisted plots. From 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' to 'Headhunters' and the upcoming 'The Snowman' - cinema-goers can't seem to get enough of it. So when 'Small Town Killers' comes along, with all the appeal of 'Seven Psychopaths' but with a splash of Scadni, it seems like a winner... right?
Friends and business partners Ib (Nicolas Bro, 'Nymphomaniac') and Edward (Ulrich Thomsen, 2011's 'The Thing') are both in lifeless marriages, with passion well and truly thrown out the window. One night, after getting into a drunken stupor, the guys hire a Russian hitman (Marcin Dorocinski) online to take out their wives (Mia Lyhne and Lene Maria Christensen) - only to wake up the next morning in a panicked regret. When the wives inadvertently catch wind of the plan, they hire an assassin of their own, and hilarity ensues.
Except, sadly, it doesn’t. What could have been a brilliant crime caper is instead reduced to a cheesy, colour-by-numbers script. It’s absolutely packed with clichés - from drunken Russian hit men to stern British nannies (named Miss Nippleworthy, no less) to unscrupulous builders, this film feels like it was penned around two decades ago.
While it's pegged as a Danish comedy crime drama, those genre references should be taken with a grain of salt. Ib and Edward are lamentable rather than relatable, and their wives are power bitch stereotypes. It's far too overdramatic to be amusing, and despite the odd laugh and a few touching moments towards the end, it’s not enough to make up for an uninspired story.
With such wasted potential and a dull, predictable storyline, it's a shame to see a concept like 'Small Town Killers' go to waste. The cast are unremarkable, the direction is bland, and the cinematography is uninspired. This combination of elements makes for an entirely forgettable film. Find another Scandi story to satisfy your needs.