While I walked in the theater I expected a good movie. Because I liked the concept of the story as it was set-up in the trailer. But mostly because I 'trusted' Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman to pick a good movie to play in. While I walked out the theater I had different thoughts unfortunately. The film was disappointing to me and I will try to explain why. It wasn't the acting and 'world building' but I disliked the directing, screenplay and filming.
First of the directing and filming, all of the action scenes where flooded with shaky cam. This was handled very badly in my opinion. I couldn't figure out what was happening most of the time. Due to the shaky cam, number of cuts, close-ups and the peace of all that. That was the main reason why I disliked 'Safe House', which is also made by Daniel Espinosa. It almost felt like he was trying the make the filming and directing 'not perfectly on purpose' to make it 'real' but it didn't worked out at all! It all felt kinda clumsy and there were way to many meaningless shots overall. There were some exceptions, some shots of the cities and area's they visited where beautifully. They really landed the rough and dark tone that they successfully tried the show. Although they over did it sometimes.
Then the screenplay or script, which is based on a 'best selling novel', again! First of you get a nice back story of Tom Hardy's main character, which felt real to me. All of the other characters felt a bit empty, like they were there to fill a place that was written for them. That made it almost impossible for my to understand the characters and the decisions they make. I also missed the whole balance in the story. The first part was way to long ( set-up ), the middle was rush ( plot kicks in ) and the final party ( ending ) was also rushed and kinda unbelievable. I think because of this I wasn't sucked in to the story. The second and third party felt way to easy and straight forward. Like solving a child murder case which is spread over thousand of miles is easy. I think the story could be told in a better and more interesting way.
Overall I was disappointed by Child 44. The dark Russia after WWII was displayed intense but the story lagged suspension and balance. The action scenes sucked even more than the conversations because of the directing and filming methods they just. Tom Hardy did is part good but not brilliant and unfortunately Gary Oldman's characters was barely in it. I give Child 44 an 5 aka 'Meh'! Thanks for reading!
Child 44 is a mockery of true events drowned in a mediocre love story. If you want the true story about Andrei Chikatilo, you should leave this alone and try Citizen X instead, a 1995 movie with Stephen Rea and Donald Sutherland.
Unfortunately this felt really rushed. It would have made a great limited or mini-series. There was just too much ground to cover from the excellent book.
The most underrated movie of this decade. It isn't prefect, has its holes in the plot, but nonetheless a masterful depiction of the soviet society.
You'd think this was the worst movie ever made if you believe the critics. They liked Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace but hated every single other thing about the film. 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. Well I'll admit the film has its flaws, but hell I've seen waaaay worse movies. In terms of 2015 films, I'd certainly rate it higher than, for example, Jurassic World or Minions. The bad: As others have noted, the film become a bit muddled in the second half, and the romance/change of heart is never really justified, and it does go through the mechanics of a standard thriller to some extent. However, none of these are crippling flaws in my opinion. The good: Tom freaking Hardy. You could legitimately argue the man is the best actor on the planet right now. He is great in this. The rest of the cast is good too, especially Rapace. The gritty, grimy atmosphere of Soviet Russia is well evoked with vivid cinematography, and the music score is very good. The film held my attention and I was invested and am glad I ignored the reviews and watched it.