Denmark, 2014. A former police officer asks Carl Mørck, head of Department Q, to find out who brutally killed his young twins in 1994. Although a local inhabitant confessed and was convicted of murder, Carl and his partner Assad soon realize that there is something in the case resolution that is terribly wrong.
Entertaining from beginning to end, it maintains the spirit of the franchise while establishing it's own seal with a fun cast
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By the time the dramatic fireworks start popping off, each one feels earned.
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Nowadays, Jussi Adler-Olsen is probably the most successful Danish thriller writer with his latest book 'Selfies' (which is, in my opinion, very weak, but that's another point) again on the best- seller list. 'The Absent One' is the second installment in the Department Q film series originally released in 2008. Like its predecessor the film is directed by Mikkel Norgaard who reunites with the lead stars Kaas and Fares. After a former cop commits suicide leaving behind the unsolved case of the brutal killing of his two children the lugubrious detective Carl Morck and his kind assistant Assad begin to investigate. Their only trace is a call by a girl, Kimmie Larsen, from the boarding school nearby the place where the assault happened. She leads the detectives to a group of powerful and affluent men headed by the famous Ditlev Pram who is ready to do whatever it takes to come to terms with the past. Therefore, the plot again alternates between the 1990s (Kimmie, Ditlev and the others) and the 2010s (the investigation).First of all, the big plus of the film is the menacing and saturnine atmosphere it creates – among the thrillers, only Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy features a deeper gaze into the abyss. Ditlev, the leader of the group, is a sadistic and Mephistophelian psychopath who loves to destroy others. In the present, it is the world in which Kimmie lives that is full of gloom. She has psychic problems and her only friend is a drug addict. There is almost no light and fun in the world of Department Q and the disturbing opening scene already sets the tone. The big threat in form of Ditlev and his henchmen creates a chilling and tense effect and therefore, you want to see how our very favorite detective duo (hopefully) will give these monsters what they deserve. Since the film depicts brutality, torture and rape, 'The Absent One' is not for the faint-hearted. What I also liked about the story is how it deals with the character of Kimmie, the girl who calls the police during that murderous night. She is somehow a round character: On the one hand, she liked the violent behavior of Ditlev and had also fun to beat others to death. Nonetheless, she made the call and realized that they have crossed some lines. There is somehow a change in her attitude towards Ditlev (of course, we learn why but I will not spoil it) which is the reason why Carl wants to help here, although she is as guilty and as criminal as the others. Consequently, Kimmie is not just another boring insane killer, but she shows that there is not always black and white, good and evil in the world. Kimmie is a shade of gray and this makes her an interesting character. Furthermore, humor would have been important to give some variation in all this violence. There are some humorous comments especially by Carl but there could have been more. This is something which the next film does better. Concerning certain cinematic devices, beside the use of light and dull colors the score by Johan Söderqvist, Patrik Andren and Uno Helmersson reflects the darkness of the film too. The haunting leitmotiv which appears often during the film underlines the deep pain the characters' live(d) through, while Kimmie's theme has some beauty and warmth in it. I'm glad that there is a soundtrack album out! Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Fares Fares are a well-interacting team. Particularly noteworthy is how Kaas plays Morck with almost no happiness or smiling on its face which emphasizes how much he suffers from his job and the attack on him and his colleagues at the beginning of The Keeper of the Lost Causes. Danica Curcic who plays the present day Kimmie gives a similarly strong performance, while Johanne Louise Schmidt as Rose is a refreshing new member of the team. Pilou Asbæk plays the main antagonist and psychopath Ditlev who sticks at nothing to save himself. Well-known for his work in 'Borgen' he gives Ditlev a dangerous and unpredictable arrogance. Overall, 'The Absent One' features a typical Scandinavian well- interwoven thriller plot full of vengeance, revelations and some scary crimes. There is nothing veritable new in the genre of the Scandinavian crime thriller – the depressive coat-wearing detective or the different detective duo are tried and trusted ingredients. Nevertheless, Norgaard uses the literary source well, although it has some clichés. In short terms, the film is more emotional and fast-paced than 'The Keeper of the Lost Causes' and therefore a nerve-racking thriller!8 pts.
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Some time has passed since Department Q's one and only successful case and now Carl and Assad feel that there is pressure on them to get results. Carl is approached by a former police officer whose children had been murdered twenty years previously; Carl refuses as the case was officially solved. The man then commits suicide so Carl feels driven to at least take a look it isn't long before he feels that there is more to the case than immediately met the eye. Firstly the man who was jailed for the crime was defended by one of Denmark's most expensive lawyers who only works for the country's richest families and this man was hardly rich and secondly he only served a short sentence for a crime as serious as a double murder where one of the victims was raped. There is also a recording that suggests that the crime was witnessed. Carl and Assad start to try to track down this witness but it soon becomes clear that others are determined to ensure they fail. It seems highly likely that those involved were students at a prestigious boarding school but the chief suspects are now respected businessmen and before the case is over Carl and Assad will be in extreme danger.This was a solid second case for Department Q although it is obvious who was responsible from near the start; the only real question was whether they would be brought to justice and if so how. There is quite a lot of violence; much of it brutal, some of it sexual in nature, which at times makes it feel more like a horror film than a detective drama I've certainly seen some 'infamous' horror films that were less brutal! This will probably be a bit too much for some viewers but others will feel it adds to the intensity of the drama. Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Fares Fares continue to impress as Carl and Assad and Danica Curcic does a fine job as Kimmie, the witness everybody is trying to find. Pilou Asbæk and David Dencik are also on great form as two particularly unpleasant suspects. Overall I'd say that while this certainly won't be for everybody I'd recommend it to anybody who enjoyed the previous film in the series.
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Saw this recently on a rented DVD. This is the follow up to the Keeper of lost causes. In this film, both Nikolaj n Fares need to solve another case because some time has passed since the success of their first case and their reputation is going down. A bereaved ex-cop appeals to Nicolaj to solve the murder of his two children. The ex cop kills himself after being refused. Feeling guilty, our two cops begin looking into the case, with all leads initially pointing towards an elite boarding school. Their search for the truth takes them in some unexpected places n a bandaged nose. Nicolaj after being attacked, gets a bandaged nose, a nod to Jack Nicholson's character from Chinatown. The plot may not be new or there may not be enuff mystery but the movie was captivating to hold your interest till the end. It's much more darker, obscene and gruesome than its predecessor. Its more of a crime tale n less of a mystery. Found it to be a lil disappointing because its not in the same league as its predecessor specially when it comes to suspense n tension. This film has lots flashbacks like the first one. Nonetheless it got saved by strong performances by all. Fares gave a very good performance n Nikolaj too gave a nice performance. A decent police procedural crime tale.
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The fact that I actually bothered to set up an account on this website just to express my disappointment with this film and save you from watching this utter nightmare should already serve as an explanation. I've never left any review anywhere. But this movie made me angry. Very weak, predictable and uninteresting plot, poor, over-dramatic acting made me feel as if I was watching one of the comedies with Leslie Nielsen. Only that this was not supposed to be a comedy... 2 hours wasted. No idea where all those fantastic reviews are from and why this film received more than 2 stars. Wouldn't recommend to my enemy. DONOT WASTE YOUR TIME