Combustible Celluloid
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With: Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Line Kruse
Written by: Anders Thomas Jensen
Directed by: Anders Thomas Jensen
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Danish with English subtitles
Running Time: 95
Date: 03/08/2003

The Green Butchers (2005)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Food for Thought

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In the grand tradition of cannibal stories from Sweeny Todd (1936) to Motel Hell (1980), Delicatessen (1992) and Ravenous (1999) comes this Danish film by Anders Thomas Jensen. Unfortunately, Jensen appears never to have heard of those other stories, and presents his tale with a wink as if the joke were new. A couple of social misfit butchers open their own shop, but during the preparations, an electrician is trapped overnight in the meat locker and dies. The creepy Svend (Mads Mikkelsen) uses the electrician's leg for filets and the shop becomes an overnight success. A subplot involves the second butcher, Bjarne and his retarded twin brother Eigil (both played by Nikolaj Lie Kaas); one loves animals and the other has become a butcher (get it?). When the movie's token cute girl (Line Kruse) shows up at the end to complete her romantic subplot with Bjarne, it's completely unearned and makes no sense. Though Jensen has written some decent screenplays for Dogme 95 films (Mifune, The King Is Alive, Open Hearts), The Green Butchers is an obvious and strained effort.

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