‘Stockholm’ wastes a unique true story and talented cast

For years, I have always wondered what The Stockholm Syndrome meant. There are phrases and monikers are go by your ears, and make you wonder about the origin.

After watching Robert Budreau’s new film, Stockholm, I now know what it means. That doesn’t mean the movie is worth watching, folks. Just do a simple google search and move on. Let’s talk about it a little.

The film opens up with the enigmatic Lars Nystrom (Ethan Hawke) planning something on a boat. He’s putting on a wig, practicing a new accent, and grabbing a bag. He hops off the boat and gives it that fateful “I’m about to do something stupid look” as he walks away.

He is doing something stupid, walking into a bank, pulling out a machine gun, and taking hostages, including the innocent and sweet Bianca (Noomi Rapace).

There are demands of course, and they include a sports car and the release of his old pal, Gunner (Mark Strong, utterly wasted here). The negotiator (Christopher Heyerdahl) comes in and does his thing, and then everyone gets nervous and makes bad decisions.

I am telling you more about the plot than usual because I don’t think you should see the film. It’s the epitome of dull, and never takes off. I don’t care if the story is based on a true tale, because I can bet cold hard cash that must have been better than what made it on screen. What happens in Budreau’s (who also wrote the script) film amounted to little more than a shrug of the shoulders from me.

The film, based off a New York Magazine article called “The Bank Drama,” takes forever to get going, and when it does seem to pick up, drags its feet towards the finish line. The Stockholm Syndrome happened when hostages formed a psychological alliance with their captors, going from scared out of their mind to thinking the bad guy isn’t that evil after all.

This may have been worth watching if Hawke and Rapace had even an ounce of chemistry. They aren’t just reading their lines off like two careless students in a theater production; the actors speak in highly dramatic tones that it borders on hilarity.

The strong cast is overall wasted, especially the talented Strong. While he’s not playing the bad guy role he has grown accustomed to and turned into a wicked science, Strong isn’t exactly playing a full-bodied person either. You don’t trust Gunner, but at the same time, he doesn’t scare you like a mysterious convict should. No one scares you here, and that’s a problem.

If there was comedy here, I missed that portion of the meal. I didn’t laugh once, at least not intentionally. I respect Budreau taking a whack at something unique here, but his attempt is a miss, and even worse, it’s very forgettable.

Example: I watched this film before I went to drive for Uber, and a drunk teenager was more interesting than this movie.

The plot notes called the heist an absurd one that led to the moniker, and while the film isn’t terrible, I wouldn’t recommend Stockholm on a rainy night. It turned a true story into something dry and bland.

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