A slow-witted Swede with a lifelong passion for blowing things up escapes from his retirement home on his 100th birthday and stumbles blithely through a picaresque adventure involving, among other things, a suitcase stuffed with drug money, a murderous biker gang and an elephant in this darkly funny caper comedy based on the international bestseller by Jonas Jonasson.
The film piles one ludicrous incident upon another, yet the escalating absurdity just gets funnier and funnier. The deaths get ever more macabre, too. There’s knockabout historical satire in the mix, as well, with flashbacks disclosing that geriatric Allan Karlsson (played by popular Swedish comedian Robert Gustafsson) has had this knack of landing himself in the thick of things throughout his life.
A brother under the skin to Woody Allen’s Zelig and Tom Hanks’s Forrest Gump, he has rubbed shoulders with a string of world leaders, from dictators Franco and Stalin to US presidents Truman and Reagan, inadvertently altering the course of global events again and again.
Bringing down the Berlin Wall? Yes, that was one of his feats, although on this occasion one that didn’t involve dynamite.
Certificate 15. Runtime 114 mins. Director Felix Herngren.
Released on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD & EST by StudioCanal on Monday 27th Ocotber.