No Right Turn

Dir: David Noel Bourke
Star: Sira Stampe, Laura Bach, Tao Hildebrand, Lars Lippert

This meandering, unfocused Tarantino-wannabe proves that nothing everything that comes out of Denmark is worth your time. Nina (Bach) is a wannabe actress who drifted into porn, then prostitution, while her boyfriend Johnny (Hildebrand) is a small-time drug-dealer, delivering coke on his pizza moped. Nina is rescued from an attempted rape by Monella (Stampe), an artist who has more than a few issues of her own. The two broken dolls hit it off, and begin their own relationship; which would be fine, except that the Nina's plans to rip-off Johnny's stash of cash, accumulated over time, which he plans to use in a dubious investment of his own, to buy the drug business from its current owner, Pedro. Needless to say, things don't go quite as expected.

If that's a shorter plot recap than I usually manage, that would be because there's not very much going on here. The rip-off isn't even mentioned until about 50 minutes in, and until then, the film appears content simply to record the uninteresting, self-absorbed lives of these low-lives. You keep waiting for the 'character development' to finish, and the plot to kick in. And waiting. And waiting. By the time things happen, it would have taken several jolts from a defibrillator to sustain my interest.

Worse yet, we're given very little reason to like them, and even less to care, so as events unfold subsequently, there is almost no emotional reaction. Weirdly, despite being entirely Danish, everyone speaks English, which has the usual problems of people acting in their second language, though none of the actors seem too badly out of their depth. Indeed, some credit is due there, given the mouthfuls of dialogue they are given - such as an interminable story Johnny relates about being in a desert and coming across a sign that points in one direction for water, and the other for sex. Writer-director-editor Bourke, on the other hand, needs someone to sharply reign in his self-indulgent excesses. I guess, in that aspect, he's right there alongside his idol, Tarantino.

[May 2011]

More Ham than let
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