Critic Consensus: Pioneer boasts strong acting and a throwback conspiracy thriller vibe, but fails to take it far enough -- and is very slow about not getting there.
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Critic Reviews for Pioneer
Director Erik Skjoldbjærg (Insomnia) makes excellent use of the high-tech, low-glamour world he depicts, and manages an ending that is happy without being farcically so.
Skjoldbjaerg is unable to make us care as much as we should, and gives the film a kind of muddy look that translates directly into the viewer's mood.
"Pioneer" has the necessary parts for a finger-pointing thriller that could boil the blood if handled well. Alas, this story of workers wounded by corrupt oil industrialists and politicians sinks from drawn-out scenes and too few surprises.
Remember this name: Aksel Hennie. If "Pioneer," a mixed bag of a conspiracy thriller, works at all, it largely does so because of him.
A brooding psychological drama where everything that happens is open to multiple interpretations and figuring out who if anyone is on your side gets harder and harder to do.
Audience Reviews for Pioneer
Despite Lang and Bentley being in the film, be forewarned -- the film is at least 75% in Norwegian with English language lines thrown in for atmosphere. This is not even close to Bentley's best work, although he's not really given an opportunity to shine. The acting is a bit above average, but nothing is noteworthy. The premise of the film should have spawned a more suspenseful story, and it likely would have in the hands of a different director. As it is, the film is only marginally more exciting than a slow-burn LeCarre film. The film's good, but its potential has been squandered.
Strange how a movie can be good, but still bore the freaking crap out of you. Well made, well acted, ugly to look at.
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