Revanche (2008)



In recent years, just about every Hollywood thriller is expected to have “the twist.”  At some point near the climax of the film, we discover that nothing is as it seemed, or no one is as we thought.

Problem is, very few of these twists hold up to scrutiny.  Most of them are ridiculous or, at the very least, implausible.  I walked out of The Sixth Sense in 1999 and thought to myself, “Wow — they really got me!”  Today, I generally soak in the obligatory twist and think, “What a load of bunk!”

There are twists in the Austrian thriller Revanche, but they are so subtle, so realistic and organic, flowing naturally from events and characters, that they really shouldn’t be called “twists.”  They are unexpected dramatic turns.

The plot:  An ex-con brings his girlfriend along as he robs a bank.  Tragedy ensues.  The action shifts to the countryside, where the robber takes refuge with his elderly grandfather, who happens to be neighbor to a cop and the cop’s unhappy wife.

What follows is slow-paced by Hollywood standards, yet it’s always absorbing — and often unexpected.       Grade:  B+




Director:  Gotz Spielmann   Cast:  Johannes Krisch, Irina Potapenko, Andreas Lust, Ursula Strauss, Johannes Thanheiser, Hanno Poschl   Release:  2008


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