In Order of Disappearance

If it’s no great shock to learn that an American remake of Hans Petter Moland’s dark action-comedy In Order of Disappearance has already been announced, it’s even less shocking that it’s going to star Liam Neeson, replacing the multilingual Stellan Skarsgård in the lead. Nils Dickman (Skarsgård) is an unassuming snowplow driver in Norway who starts picking off the gangsters who killed his straight-laced son, Ingvar (Aron Eskeland). In doing so, Nils (whose surname the gangsters find hilarious) unwittingly heats up an existing war between a douchey local crime boss named the Count (Pål Sverre Hagen) and a Serbian mob run by the aging Papa (Bruno Ganz). On paper that sounds like the kind of revenge picture that’s been Neeson’s stock in trade lately, and there’s plenty of violence, but In Order of Disappearance has tricks up its bloodied sleeve. Skarsgård is not known as an action guy, and the very funny picture is as much about its characters as the carnage — down to the name of each dead person appearing on screen — posthumously, Six Feet Under-style — a gag which pays off brilliantly in the final showdown. From its title onward, In Order of Disappearance is a clever piss-take on the modern revenge genre, and hopefully it won’t be dumbed down too much for mainstream American audiences.

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