First attempt by a Swedish company at an American-style, English-lingo genre movie is shaky. Though technically well-made and with convincing locations, crime drama "Rancid" suffers from unconvincing perfs by its two leads, signaling an offshore future largely in ancillary.

First attempt by a Swedish company at an American-style, English-lingo genre movie is shaky. Though technically well-made and with convincing locations, crime drama “Rancid” suffers from unconvincing perfs by its two leads, signaling an offshore future largely in ancillary.

N.Y.-set story starts with aspiring author and heavy drinker James Hayson (Matthew Settle) running from a crime scene at a suburban manse; film then jumps back and forth between the present day and his memory flashbacks. At a class-reunion, James had met and embraced onetime love Monica Klein (Fay Masterson), now married to the rich Crispin Klein (Currie Graham). Some days later, Crispin sends goons to beat up James and, when James retaliates, there’s a spiral of violence into which are drawn James’ friend Siena (Angela Morris), among others. Swedish-born helmer Jack (aka Joakim) Ersgard has been living in Los Angeles for years, making small independent films; though “Rancid” looks good, it lacks any real tension. Only thesp with presence is Graham. Exteriors were shot in N.Y. and L.A., and all interiors in a Stockholm studio.

Rancid

Sweden

Production

A Sonet Film release of a Sonet Film production, in association with the Chimney Pot, LiteGrip, Europa Post Prod., Jodon. (International sales: Non Stop Sales, Stockholm.) Producers, Jack Ersgard, Brad Southwick, Peter Possne. Executive producer, Possne. Directed by Jack Ersgard. Screenplay, Jesper Ersgard, Jack Ersgard, Patrick Ersgard; story, Jesper Ersgard.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Kjell Lagerroos; editor, Gregers Dohn; music, Lars Andersson, Trevor Morris, Mikael Sandgren; art director, Mikael Varhelyi; costume designer, Eva von Bahr. Reviewed at Swedish Film Institute screening room, Stockholm, Nov. 25, 2004. English dialogue. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Matthew Settle, Fay Masterson, Currie Graham, Siena Goines, Patrick Ersgard, Jay Acovone, Michael Wiseman, Jennifer Jostyn, Paul Satterfield, Pernilla August, Ola Norell, Jarmo Makinen.

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