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Movies & TV

17th Feb 2018

One of the greatest but most underseen thrillers of the 21st Century is on TV this weekend

Rory Cashin

There’s a very good chance you’ve never even heard of this movie, let alone seen it.

Liam Neeson has carved out a little niche for himself in Hollywood as the go-to guy for geri-action, usually involving him getting revenge on someone who has done wrong by him or a member of his family.

It is, essentially, exactly what the plots of Taken, The Commuter, Unknown, Non-Stop, Run All Night and more of his movies all consist of.

So it makes absolute sense that he has been been lined up for the Hollywood remake of In Order Of Disappearance, a revenge movie so brilliant that it defies belief just how few people have actually seen it.

In the original Norwegian version, we follow Nils (the always brilliant Stellan Skarsgard), who works for the government to plough the roads on the mountain to clear them of the heavy Winter snow.

When his son is confused for someone else, and killed by a member of the local mafia, Nils takes it upon himself to get revenge for his death, by killing anyone he reckon was even remotely connected to the murder.

However, once the bodies start piling up, the mafia don’t figure to think it might be the work of a local snow-plougher, and think it is some rival gangsters moving in on their turf, and soon Nils finds himself in the centre of a very bloody gang-war.

While all of that sounds spectacularly grim, the most surprising thing about In Order Of Disappearance is just how brilliantly funny it is.

Nils is such a fantastic problem for the gangsters because (A) he happens to be armed with some extremely powerful industrial equipment that he knows how to put to good use, and (B) his actions are so random and erratic that nobody can predict where the next attack will come from, or how, so they have no real way to defend themselves from him.

So yes, it is a kind of pitch-black, totally grimacing type of funny, but funny nonetheless.

Clip via Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films

So it’s a little bit Taken, a little bit Fargo, a little bit Death Wish, and a little bit Reservoir Dogs, all rolled up into one fantastically entertaining movie.

Neeson’s remake – titled Hard Powder – is due out in late 2018, but has already said it will be a more straight ahead action-thriller, with most if not all of the dark comedy elements taken out entirely.

It might still be great, but the original is definitely worth two hours of your time.

In Order Of Disappearance is on BBC Four on Sunday 18 February at 10pm.

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