Brutal Incasso (2005) Movie Review

“Brutal Incasso” is a low budget film from Denmark which takes a wacky look at the lives of two incompetent gangster henchmen. To be honest, it’s difficult to imagine any viewer feeling particularly enthusiastic over the prospect of yet another such would be action comedy, most of which turn out to far outreach their grasp, being self-obsessed and more concerned with being hip than actually entertaining. In the face of such decidedly unappealing prospects, “Brutal Incasso” turns out to be better than expected, being surprisingly well made, amiable enough and mercifully free of pretension. Unfortunately, such qualities are not quite enough to lift the film from mediocrity, mainly due to the hit and miss nature of the jokes and the overwhelming fact that the world of cinema is already desperately overpopulated by similar efforts.

Right from the start, the plot is instantly recognisable, as the viewer is introduced to Jim (Claus Lund) and Michael (Kim Sonderholm), a couple of thuggish collection agents who work for big boss LC. The two go quite happily about their daily business until an unfortunate accident leaves them with a corpse on their hands. Making matters worse, LC decides to hold them responsible for the money owed by the dead man, threatening dire consequences should they fail to pay up. After their psychotic boss kidnaps their girlfriends to underline his point, Jim and Michael are forced to turn to Michael’s even crazier brother in an effort to stage a violent rescue attempt.

The story is fairly disposable, and “Brutal Incasso” basically feels like a series of familiar anecdotes linked by long stretches of dialogue between the two main characters, and as such relies quite heavily upon their relationship. On these modest grounds, it works well enough, as both men are fairly likeable, although their conversations become a little repetitive after a while and many of the jokes, especially those involving corpse disposal have been heard before.

The problem with having Jim and Michael as protagonists, and in fact with the film in general, is that they are simply not believable as criminals. Neither gives the impression of being capable of brutality, and come across as being average sorts who are a little slow on the uptake. Similarly, none of the shabbily dressed villains are able to convince, and offer very little in the way of menace.
Although there are reasonable amounts of black comedy and violence scattered throughout “Brutal Incasso”, none of it feels genuine or carries any sense of danger. As a result, and because of the fact that almost all of its action is condensed into the final scenes, the film never succeeds as a crime drama, and offers very little in the way of thrills or anything visceral. Matters are not helped by the ill-fitting soundtrack, which is a mixture of standard heavy metal and bumbling comedy music. The latter is especially overused throughout and on several occasions seriously detracts from the impact of the scenes, giving them an inappropriate air of surrealism.

Jonas Kvist Jensen (who also scripted) directs well on what is obviously a very low budget, and manages to include a few scenes with some genuine flair, especially during the final shootout. “Brutal Incasso” has a pleasing air of realism, though this is at odds with the strange, comic book style gag captions which frequently appear on screen and which serve no real purpose other than to annoy and distract the viewer. The special effects are kept to a minimum, though the explosions and spraying blood during the finale are reasonable enough for a film of this budget.

At the end of the day, “Brutal Incasso” is a film which is far easier to admire than it is to enjoy. Whilst credit must be given for the achievement itself, and for the fact that the film is undeniably well made, it is simply too bland and unoriginal to really entertain or leave any kind of lasting impression. Although such films are obviously hampered by their low budget and lack of resources, this is no excuse for what amounts to a basic lack of imagination and originality in the script.

Jonas Kvist Jensen (director) / Jonas Kvist Jensen, Claus Lund, Kim Sønderholm (screenplay)
CAST: Kim Sønderholm …. Michael
Claus Lund …. Jim
Allan Hotchkiss …. LC
Ole Ernst …. Bedstefar Gerner
Melany Denise …. Iben
Anna Bard …. Louise
Thomas Biehl …. Lalle

Buy Brutal Incasso on DVD