torsdag 8 april 2010

The Laughing policeman (1973)

I'll have a good policethriller anytime and The Laughing policeman seemed like just a movie I would appreciate. Based on a book in a Swedish series of policenovels that everyone knows about in Sweden, since they sold millions and they make about a movie a month based on the characters. Looking at the cast (Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, Louis Gosset Jr, Anthony Zerbe, Paul Koslo and Joanna Cassidy amongst others) and the director, it seems the movie couldnt fail. Well, it didnt either. Too bad it's not exactly a success.

The movie starts with a cool scene where an policedetective follows a man onto a bus late in the night. Later on a man gets on the bus, sits himself in the back and starts assembling a machinegun. Yes, Massacretime! 12 dead! It turns out that this now very dead detective was offduty, looking into something that he had told none about, not even his wife or partner on the force. The police now has to look into all of the deceased peoples backgrounds to find out why this happened. But the movies biggest mystery is why Walter Matthau has his pants pulled up under his armpits. He looks kinda ooold.

Jokes aside, The Laughing policeman is a decent thriller. It is well shot on great SF locations and the plot itself isnt half bad. The only problem is the script which starts out good, then spends about an hour meandering about with Bruce Dern showing how good he can be playing a major asshole. It is always entertaining, but feels a bit random. It should've been tightened a bit to get the plot flowing more efficient. Other than that, it's a fine movie with an awesome cast and some decent bits of violence that will be liked by fans of 70:s policethrillers.

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