Child 44 Czech Republic, Romania, UK, USA 2015 – 137min.
Moscow, 1952. Terror has a name: the MGB, the soviet secret military police. A promising agent with a future in the party, Leo Demidov is charged with sorting out the murder of the son of a colleague, a child who was found naked on a train track. With Stalin having decreed that crime does not exist in the perfect communist state, this is officially a tragic accident. But when his superiors decide to test his loyalty by asking him to denounce his wife Raïssa, who is accused of being a spy, Leo refuses to submit to the system. He falls into disgrace and is exiled to the edge of the country. Again confronted by mysterious deaths around trains, he decides to investigate…
Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace teaming up again after the magnificent The Drop by Michael R. Roskam was a good sign for Child 44, adapted from the novel by Tom Rob Smith. Unfortunately, Swedish director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) accumulates a few too many weak points within 2 hours and 17 minutes, without managing to really shine – starting with a dense and nebulous plot that is unable to make the love story cohere with the murders, and both fall flat. Then there are the ridiculous Russian accents used by the international cast: the English Tom Hardy the Swedes Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman and the Australian Jason Clarke, which doesn’t make it any easier to get into this awkward and shallow thriller.