The Keeper of Lost Causes
The latest slice of Scandi-pulp to make its way over the North Sea, Danish thriller The Keeper of Lost Causes is a nicely shot, formulaic exercise in moody brooding and lascivious torture porn, slavishly ticking all the genre trope boxes while it sleepwalks through an icky narrative that could have been lifted from any slick and soulless television crime drama.
Nikolaj Lie Kaas (The Killing) does most of the brooding as Carl, a rouge homicide investigator traumatised by a police ambush gone wrong (oh, why don’t they ever wait for backup??). His boss assigns him a desk job in Department Q, where he is expected to rubber stamp cold case files. Instead, in true rouge cop fashion, Carl and his new assistant (a charming Fares Fares) decide to muck in and actually solve one of those cases.
Based on the 2013 novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen, the film is an obvious set up for a series of Department Q follow-ups. Too bad this opener feels like an atmospheric exercise in sucking all the air out of the genre. [Michelle Devereaux]