Max Manus: Man of War
- Steve Cramer
- 9 July 2009
This fact-based drama follows, somewhat in the manner of Black Book, the wartime experiences of the title character, a Norwegian resistance hero.
As genre films go, Max Manus doesn’t wander far from tracks laid down for half a century, yet there’s a quiet kind of tension in the telling, largely down to strong direction from Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg. There’s a sturdy lead performance, too, from Aksel Hennie, whose resistance fighter loses his stability as a war in Finland, followed by a series of increasingly elaborate sabotages against German ordinance at home take their toll. The psychological collapse of Manus is at least as significant as the increasingly bloody action scenes, so the film keeps its human dimension. There’s also a nice combined history and ‘making of’ documentary in the package, Bergen the question: can you afjörd to miss it (ouch, sorry)?
(15) 117 min (Revolver DVD retail)