The title isn’t the only rambling, unwieldy thing about this lightweight absurdist comedy, an adaptation of a 2009 novel and already a hit in Sweden – from where its humour singularly fails to travel. We meet jovial pyromaniac Allan Karlsson (Swedish comic Robert Gustafsson) as he escapes from an old folk’s home on his 100th birthday and innocently becomes caught up in a crime caper involving a suitcase of cash, some tattooed heavies, a frozen body and an elephant. Meanwhile, we flash through Allan’s earlier life in comic-book style and are treated to the Scandinavian spin on ‘Forrest Gump’ as Allan accidentally encouters all sorts of key twentieth-century figures, including General Franco, Stalin, Truman, Robert Oppenheimer and Ronald Reagan. Barely educated as a kid and then castrated as a teen tearaway, Allan had a childhood love of explosions which inadvertently – that word again – implicates him in the development of the nuclear bomb and Cold War espionage. The whole thing teeters on the edge of farce and is buoyed along by an annoying, carnivalesque score. It’s an amiable mess.
|Release date:||Friday July 4 2014|
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Felix Herngren, Hans Ingemansson|