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Jar City

[Rating: 2.5/5]

jar_city

Iceland is a strange, strange place.  I can’t really imagine living there.  “Jar City” comes straight from Iceland, and exuberantly includes all of its strangness.   As well as beautiful, odd landscape shots, at one point, the main character orders a sheep’s head from a drive through window and then goes home and chows down on it while reading scripture.  A sheep’s head.  

I don’t know whether this is true or not – Iceland just weird enough for it to be – but in “Jar City,” a medical research group has gathered information – and body parts – on all the people who have died from genetic illnesses, in hopes of eventually eradicating the illnesses.  One of the researcher’s daughters dies from an illness that hasn’t been on the island for a generation, when it killed another little girl.   Because Iceland is such a strange place, and nobody ever comes or goes from there, he logically deduces that he must be related to this other child who died thirty years ago.  And he sets out to figure out how.  

Of course, that’s not the way “Jar City” plays out.  It’s a detective story, starting with the death of a scumbag, and a mysterious picture.   And a detective, who eats the heads of sheep.  And a corrupt sheriff who ridicules women who have been raped.  And so it unfolds, in that weirdest of weird places, a crime thriller, just like on TV.   And really, it’s a pretty basic crime thriller, except it happens in Iceland.  Does crime really happen in Iceland?  Yes, but you’ll never get away with it.  Because it turns out you’re related to the sister of the brother of the huband of the cousin you just killed, and night’s coming.  Get ready.

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