The first “Wallander” novels by Henning Mankell were published in Sweden in the early 1990s. There have been Wallander movies and TV series in Sweden, as well as a British adaptation with Kenneth Branagh as the depressed detective Kurt Wallander that played in the U.S. on “Masterpiece: Mystery.”
But “Wallander: The Revenge” is the first of the Swedish adaptations to reach this country, in the wake of the “Girl with the Dragon-Tattoo”-inspired frenzy for Scandinavian mystery-thrillers.
The Branagh version was slow-moving and understandably depressive; this version, with Krister Henricksson in the central role, has the headlong sense of purpose of an episode of “Law & Order.” It’s not significantly more stylish – and not much deeper, for that matter.
The attraction of this series is meant to be the complexity of Wallander’s emotional life. In the series, he’s got a dead marriage, a tentative but fragile relationship with his daughter, a father diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and potentially the same diagnosis somewhere in his future. He’s abrupt with coworkers and subordinates, but able to make deductive leaps worthy of the hero of a series of detective novels.
Only a little of the latter bleeds into this film, directed by Charlotte Brandstrom.
This review continues on my website.