What would you do if, in the middle of the war, you were tasked with delivering packages to the enemy and your only incentive (aside from ending the war at the cost of millions of death) was to be able to find your lost daughter? Well, that’s exactly what is happening in Netflix’s Black Crab. And if you haven’t seen the movie, you’re in luck! Because this is a Black Crab review, no spoilers edition.
Let me start this review by admitting that I am a little biased when it comes to international movies and TV series. I have rarely been deceived when watching them. From DARK (German) to The Rain (Danish) it seems to me like they focus on real-life emotions and character development rather than having heroes save the world at little to no cost. It could be just me, but there is this big romanticized version of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies and series in North America. However, there is progress and hope seen with shows like The Walking Dead, Snowpiercer and Raised by Wolves, where heroes don’t always success and don’t always ‘get the girl’. But anyway, I digress. All of this rambling to say that there is a deep appreciation for movies and tv series from outside of North America coming from me.
Ok! Rant done! On to the actual review.
What is Black Crab?
Black Crab is a post-apocalyptic thriller movie set in a civil war-ridden Sweden and stars Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Prometheus). It’s been about five years since Rapace’s character, Caroline Edh, has been separated from her daughter at the beginning of this civil war. It’s not really clear nor explained what the catalyst for this civil war was, and I think it is not really necessary in the context of this story. There is no need to know why Sweden is plagued with this war, and the fact that there is no real explanation as to which side is the ‘good’ side makes it even more interesting.
The fact that Noomi’s character is looking for her daughter and is not sincerely in it for victory’s sake takes us on a personal story rather than a ‘save the world’ deal.
A few more production stills & a behind the scenes image from 'Black Crab' which will be available on Netflix from March 18th #noomirapace #noomrapaceinfo #blackcrab @NetflixUK @NetflixNordic
All images used with the very kind permission of Netflix. pic.twitter.com/4EzMY7BoTY
— NoomiRapaceInfo (@NoomiRapaceInfo) March 10, 2022
And Now, the Black Crab Review
The movie starts and not even two minutes in, I forgot about my movie snack. I was on edge. The action starts and, while there are a few minutes of common military blah-blah-blah and mission explanation, we are sent straight away into the action zone, once again.
Edh is recruited to be part of a six-man special team for operation Black Crab, hence the title of the movie. She is enlisted because she is a speed skater turned soldier, one of the best in the country, and the mission is for them to carry a mysterious package filled with capsules across a frozen archipelago. We do not know what those are meant for, the mission is vague and unknown for the most part, but as the good soldiers they are, no questions are asked and they depart during a hectic night, even before they were fully briefed, skates on their feet.Black Crab was a great movie if you are in the mood for twists and action. Was it a good movie for a Friday night? Definitely. Was it memorable? Probably not. Click To Tweet
No questions, but only one from Edh herself, which is answered with the knowledge of her daughter being in a refugee camp at their destination, and the promise to be reunited with her.
As a parent myself, this would have been my only motivation, so I felt like Noomi’s character reacted accordingly by not asking anything else, and agreeing to go.
The soldiers all need to travel from Tessenoy to Odo, a distance of 100 nautical miles (or 115 miles) on ice skates, in the dark, and try to avoid enemy attacks. Edh is knowledgeable about the state of the ice, where it could be thinner or safe, and is quickly placed ahead of everyone.
What I loved about the movie is that you have to constantly wonder “Would I do the same thing?” being in their shoes, whenever a certain situation arises. There are moments where I audibly let a gasp out or had to hold my breath because I was so surprised by the events following and the change of mood during certain scenes. For an almost 2 hour movie, It really did a great job at depicting certain situations and trust within a group and newly met groups.
Character development wasn’t necessary, but the short discussions the soldiers had amongst each other were enough to explain what type of person they were, and the humanity they were displaying. It makes you really think; war is war, but people are people and their stories matter as well. this is especially relevant with the current state of the world right now, with war raging in multiple parts of the world. so, as far as getting to know characters better, Black Crab did a great job at giving very little info, but a lot of character traits at the same time.
So, what’s the verdict?
Black Crab was a great movie if you are in the mood for twists and action. Was it a good movie for a Friday night? Definitely. Was it memorable? Probably not. It’s not the type of movie I would go back to, but rather a one-and-done type of thing. It’s pretty good, but I wouldn’t watch it more than twice. A second time around to see if the English subs were good, sure, (I watch foreign movies in their native languages first, always) but aside from this, there are probably are other movies I would prioritize over this one.