The Greatest Heroes
Time Out saysVinterberg's first feature has its moments, but on the whole it's something of a mess. Much of the cast are familiar from Festen, notably Bo Larsen and Thomsen as delinquent buddies Karsten and Peter, a recidivist bank robber and a manic depressive pill-popper respectively; and the plot echoes both the latter film and Vinterberg's short The Boy Who Walked Backwards in its basis in family trauma and rebellion, following the pair and Karsten's newfound teenage daughter on a slapdash spree through Sweden in flight from the girl's abusive foster father and the authorities. Vinterberg's attempt at characterisation on the go doesn't come off: the action is too diffuse and the character background introduced too clumsily. The male lead performances are uncomfortably pitched somewhere between drama and farce, though the women are generally very assured. The shoot-out finale is particularly uninspired.