“Then they came for me,” bemoans the end of Martin Niemöller’s poem, “and there was no one left to speak for me.”
In Child 44 Daniel Espinosa has crafted an interesting drama about the bureaucracy of paranoia in Soviet Russia. Unfortunately, it’s hidden beneath a murder mystery that’s flat, dull and easily solved; a problem that becomes increasingly apparent as the film struggles to find enough to fill its 137-minute running time.
The cast is filled with talented actors giving decent performances, but the decision to have everyone talk in comic Russian accents doesn’t do anyone any favours.
Despite several glaring issues, there’s enough interesting stuff in Child 44 to merit your attention. One wonders whether Tom Rob Smith’s followup novels will get the same treatment.
CAST: Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, Jason Clarke, Vincent Cassel
DIRECTOR: Daniel Espinosa
WRITERS: Richard Price (screenplay), Tom Rob Smith (novel)
SYNOPSIS: A disgraced member of the Soviet military police (Hardy) investigates a series of nasty child murders.