Film, Drama
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This Nordic conspiracy thriller, very loosely based on real events, uncovers murky goings-on during the Norwegian oil boom of the 1980s. When the black stuff is discovered in the North Sea, the Norwegians call in American oilmen with the technical know-how to construct a sea-bed pipeline. The stakes are soon evident when local diver Petter (Aksel Hennie) only just survives a sea-bed catastrophe which kills his brother; but was it really an accident? Although suffering hallucinatory after-effects, plucky Petter turns detective to dig out the truth. The plotting here falls back on easy clichés, unwisely attempting to square a psychologically skewed character with an wider muckraking agenda. Still, ‘Insomnia’ director Erik Skoldbjaerg knows his ’70s conspiracy thrillers backwards. As a result, ‘Pioneer’ delivers insidious, shadowy tension, while it’s genuinely surprising to find yourself so engrossed – story glitches notwithstanding – in key issues like compression sickness and divers’ gas supply. Mr Clooney is working on a US remake as we speak.

By: Trevor Johnston


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday April 11 2014
Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Erik Skjoldbjærg
Screenwriter: Erik Skjoldbjærg, Nikolaj Frobenius, Hans Gunnarsson, Cathinka Nicolaysen, Kathrine Valen Zeiner
Cast: Aksel Hennie
Wes Bentley
Stephanie Sigman
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