Director: Erik Skjoldbjaerg
Cast: Aksel Hennie, Stephen Lang, Jonathan LaPaglia, Ronald Ferris, Erik Stubo
Language: Norwegian with English subtitles, English
Country of Origin: Norway 2013 111mins.
Released by ARROW FILMS
A conspiracy thriller based on a true story,'Pioneer' is set in the beginning of the 80s Norwegian Oil Boom. Enormous oil and gas deposits are discovered in the North Sea and an international alliance of US Petroleum interests and the Norwegian Government is formed to construct a pipeline 500 metres below the North Sea. A professional diver, Petter (Aksel Hennie), a risk taker undertakes a trial dive with his brother Knut (Andre Eriksen) but a sudden, tragic accident changes everything.His brother is killed and Petter thinks that his death is linked to a gas supplement designed to help divers breath at great depths. Petter's investigations into his brother's death lead him into a murky and menacing world that puts his life in danger.
The deep sea diving sequences are excellent and the tension and unease builds as Petter investigates but overall it's a stop-start feeling that holds the film back. Aksel Hennie is excellent as Petter, the vulnerable risk taker thrown into the world of conspiracy politics but the American contingent seem out of place,particularly Ronald Ferris who plays the US CEO, Stephen Lang who struggles with the movie's screenplay. Great pity as it could and should be a gripping conspiracy thriller.
It's reported that George Clooney has acquired the remake rights of 'Pioneer'.