Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: In a post-apocalyptic world, six soldiers on a covert mission must transport a mysterious package across a frozen archipelago in hopes of winning a war.
Review: “We are not a crab, we are a snake eating its own tail.” It’s a line by one of the characters in this tale that speaks volumes on the futility of war. Directed by Adam Berg, Black Crab is one of those movies that I find difficult to call fun or entertaining during these present times, with its scenes of people being herded into refugee camps, civilians killing each other for survival and people fighting for a cause they don’t understand because their leaders and governments are lying to them. With the atrocities going on in the Ukraine at present, movies such as these feel all that more terrifying and true to life than they should be.
That said, Black Crab’s strengths lie in its visuals, acting and pacing. Noomi Rapace (Millennium Trilogy, Prometheus, What Happened to Monday) is one of those actresses that always pulls my attention. Whether the movie is mediocre or not she shines brightest, and that trend continues here. She plays Caroline Edh, a mother who after losing her daughter during an attack by an enemy who is never named (one of the points the film is trying to make is nobody thinks of themselves as the villain during a war, so it’s not about who’s right or wrong) she becomes a soldier and is drafted into a secret mission. The mission is codenamed “Black Crab” because they have to cross the now frozen ocean at night on ice skates to get a canister delivered to their Homebase of operations in hopes of ending the war. Her motivation comes from being told she will be reunited with her daughter when she gets there. She is joined by a handful of others, all of whom are fighting for the hope of a brighter future.
I don’t know how they did it but the visuals looked so real I couldn’t tell what was CGI and what wasn’t. With wide shots of vast frozen landscapes and action set pieces that kept you on your toes the tension never lets up once the mission gets underway. Even the moments where they were taking shelter held an air of distrust and I have to give huge props to the actors, especially Jakob Oftebro as Nylund, who portrayed his character in a way you never really knew if he/they were going to betray the team from one moment to the next.
The only point at which I felt the runtime drag was in the final act, which felt tacked on and a bit unnecessary. Then again, if you’ve seen any Swedish movies before, you know they tend to lean towards the bleaker conclusions so one could argue it was par for the course. Still, I think they could’ve done without it and ended the story much sooner for a better experience.
Black Crab’s impact overall is a solid one. Maybe it’s due to real world events fitting eerily well into this fictional take on the futility of war, but still I recommend checking it out for yourself.
Sommer’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
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Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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