Does Wallander have a colander? This is the type of question that keeps Judge David Johnson up at night.
Our reviews of Henning Mankell's Wallander (2009) (published June 20th, 2012), Wallander: Series One (published June 22nd, 2009), and Wallander: Series Two (Blu-ray) (published December 10th, 2010) are also available.
Swedish badassery by way of Britain.
Wallander is based on a series of popular novels from Swedish author Henning Mankell. Kurt Wallander (Kenneth Branagh, Much Ado About Nothing) is our hero in this adaptation, a flawed but tenacious investigator who routinely finds himself embroiled in dark, bizarre mysteries. While he navigates these whodunits, Wallander has a turbulent personal life to sift through and—much the like the victims associated with the crimes he investigates—nothing ever ends well.
Wallander: Series Three brings three new feature-length (90 minute) mysteries:
An Event in Autumn
The Dogs of Riga
Before the Frost
I'm a sucker for these British mystery shows and Wallander deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as some of the best stuff to arrive from across the Atlantic. One common theme I've discovered during my extensive sojourn into Anglophilia is that no matter how innocuous these mysteries might seem, rest assured there is some evil waiting at the end. And this is where Wallander differentiates itself; it's the darkest I've seen. In fact, there's pretty much zero levity at all, from the haunting opening credits all the way to the inevitable creepy conclusion.
Lean, but solid DVD: episodes receive a clean standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby 2.0 Stereo mixes, English SDH subtitles, and no extras.
The stories are compelling enough, but what Wallander has going for it is Kenneth Branagh. The man is obviously an icon and he's the anchor here. Kurt Wallander is a fairly messed-up hombre, giving Branagh plenty of character to sink his teeth into, and he delivers in a big way. His performance alone makes the series required viewing.
Not Guilty. Top-notch acting and execution. A mystery-telling clinic.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BBC Video
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