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Adam's Apples (Unrated)





Release Date: March 16th, 2007 (Clearview Chelsea 9) by Outsider Pictures.
The Cast: Ulrich Thomsen, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicolas Bro, Paprika Steen, Ole Thestrup, Ali Kazim.
Directed by Anders Thomas Jensen.

BASIC PREMISE: Adam (Thomsen), a neo-Nazi performing community service a church, discovers that the vicar, Ivan (Mikkelsen), has a troubled past and confronts him.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Combining religious symbols, absurdity, drama and comedy worked in El Topo, but in Adamís Apples, it all mostly falls flat on its face. Adam arrives at a church after getting released from jail and meets the seemingly nice vicar, Ivan. When asked what activity he wishes to take on during his community service, he decides to bake an apple pie using the apples from a tree. At first, one might think that the rest of the film will just be about Adamís road to redemption. Ivan, becomes an important character, though, when Adam discovers dark secrets about his past. He tries to confront him about it while digging for more information from a local doctor (Thestrup). Despite decent performances by Thomsen and Mikkelsen, especially during their confrontations, writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen fails to engage the viewer with a tedious, unfocused second act followed by a very convoluted, implausible third act. Moreover, he overloads the film with many religious references, i.e. apples and the Book of Job from the bible, which makes it feel rather pretentious and diminishes the power of its ending.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Although not explored enough to be profound, the messages include that good and evil are not so black-and-white. Thereís more to everyone than meets the eye. Also, God can put one through difficult challenges and tests just like he made Job go through in the Bible.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Often unfocused, tedious and convoluted.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 6

IN A NUTSHELL: Mildly fascinating and well-acted by Thomsen and Mikkelson, but often pretentious, unfocused, tedious and convoluted.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD


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