101 Reykjavik

"Good"

101 Reykjavik Review


A vivid and energetic dark comedy about a lifeless and lazy remnant of Generation X, the Icelandic import "101 Reykjavik" begins with its anti-hero tromping to the top of a mountain in the snow where he plans to smoke a cigarette and freeze to death because life has become too much for him to cope with.

Scruffy layabout Hlynur (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason) is so willfully aimless and irresponsible that he can't cope with much of anything beyond living with his mother and surfing web porn all day. So the chaos he brings upon himself by impregnating mom's wild lesbian girlfriend (Spanish actress Victoria Abril) is way too much -- I mean it would require energy, resolution and, god forbid, responsibility!

With a firm hold on the film's pungent sense of humor, director Baltasar Kormakur sets this stage then rewinds to trace Hlynur's path of ambition-free self-destruction, deftly crafting a self-deprecating sympathy for the guy along the way. Hlynur knows he's a zero ("My face is just sort of a frame around my glasses," he says in the movie's running commentary) but then, he thinks he lives in a world of zeroes and he's the only one with the courage to admit it and embrace it. Dragged to a family Christmas dinner -- where the elder generation enthusiastically watches a video of last year's Christmas dinner -- Hlynur opines "I'd rather go to a funeral. One less idiot."

So when his mother's free-spirited young "friend" from Spain comes to stay with them, Hlynur finds her a sexy and stimulating break from the self-imposed drudgery of his existence. They hang out, get drunk and -- whoops.

"101" boasts a catchy synth-industrial soundtrack by Damon Albarn (from Blur) and Einar Orn (from the Sugarcubes), and a vivid sense of place that builds a necessary personal warmth into the glacial setting with, for example, arguments that take place inside cars that are sliding about on icy roads.

Kormakur -- who adapted the screenplay from a novel of the same title -- also plies the picture with richly morose character traits that should make his hero unlikable (giving cigarettes to kids, avoiding every girl he's slept with at the incestuously small local pub). But Gudnason's richly ironic performance is appealingly caustic in spite of the Hlynur's utter lack of purpose and gross irresponsibility.

Abril ("High Heels," "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!") provides plenty of personality as well with her bewitching but egoless sexuality. And the film is rounded out by distinctive performances from Hanna Maria Karlsdottir as the mother and Olafur Darri Olafsson as a clingy girlfriend Hlynur has lost interest in.

"101 Reykjavik" is forgettable sex farce fare and has nagging problems, like a sloppy time-line, that keep it from soaring. But it is a funny look at modern love through the eyes and culture of a slothfully detached and uniquely 21st Century male archetype.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 1st June 2000

Distributed by: Menemsha

Production compaines: Zentropa Entertainments, Filmhuset AS, Liberator Productions, Troika Entertainment GmbH

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Lola, Hilmir Snær Guðnason as Hlynur, as Berglind, Þrúður Vilhjálmsdóttir as Hófí

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.