The Killing: Volume Two (2007)
By: Rip on November 22, 2010  | 
SBS | All Regions, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | Danish DD 2.0 | 577 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Creator: Soren Sveistrup
Starring: Sofie Grabel, Lars Mikkelsen, Bjarne Henriksen, Ann Eleonora Jørgensen, Marie Askehave
Country: Denmark
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So here we are again, back with a follow-up look at the final 10 installments in Volume 2 of the superb Danish mini-series, The Killing (Forbrydelsen – Danish for "The Crime"). And as with Volume One, it is nigh on impossible to discuss without giving plot details away. Every episode of this series is a surprise and this is half the fun of watching it, as we are always as much in the dark as the police are about whom exactly is responsible for the murder of student and political activist, Nanna Birk Larsen. As they discover more clues and more possible suspects, along with multiple red herrings, we are always right there with the police on every step of the case. Volume Two picks up exactly where Volume One left off and, once again, each one hour episode is one day of the investigation. We've seen this timeline structure used before in series' like 24, but here the device comes off fresh and works to the production's favour.

As more leads and likely suspects end up going no-where, Detective Sarah Lund's superiors threaten to, and finally do, take her off the case. But this doesn't stop her, as she begins to become completely obsessed. Her partner, Detective Jan Meyer, reluctantly believes in Sarah and continues to help her, even at the risk of his career. Their strongest lead up to this point, involves a school teacher who took a shine to the murdered Nanna, and after her father Theis discovers this, he takes the law in to his own hands and savagely beats the teacher, hospitalizing him. But it emerges later that the teacher is innocent and Theis is then jailed. More clues surface and point once again to Mayoral challenger, Troels Hartmann. Much to his protest, Hartmann in turn is also arrested and held. Whilst Lund believes Hartmann himself is not the perpetrator, she is convinced that he knows something because of his refusal to admit where he was during the weekend of Nanna's murder. It turns out that he is holding information back, but it's of a personal nature that threatens to embarrass his public image, so he is ultimately released. But the last place Nanna was seen alive at was a recreational apartment at Town Hall, a room frequented by Hartmann and many other members of his party. The focus of the investigation then turns toward one of Hartmann's aides who had been passing on information to another aide working for opponent and incumbent Mayor Poul Bremer. It then comes to light that Bremer's aide may have had an affair with Nanna Birk Larsen. Lund and Meyer hunt down the aide, but disaster strikes, and again, the investigation shifts. This time, the focus is on someone who is a lot closer to the case than they ever would have imagined…

And it is here that the synopsis for Volume Two shall finish, as I don't wish to spoil the delicious mystery that twists and turns in The Killing. Volume Two picks up exactly where Volume One left off and, once again, each one hour episode is one day of the police investigation. Whilst we've seen this timeline structure used before in series like 24, here the device feels fresh and keeps the audience riveted throughout.

The final 10 episodes of this 20 part series are also just as good, if not better, than those in Volume One. Once again, production values are top notch, with the writing, direction and performances being of the highest order. The intricacies of a labyrinthine plot and the cliffhanger finales of each installment make for compulsive and absolutely addictive viewing from the first to final episode.

Western audiences have experienced some terrific Scandinavian crime dramas of late, such as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and its forthcoming two sequels, and it comes as no surprise that, as with those aforementioned films, an American version of The Killing is underway. As to whether it will be as masterful as this Emmy Award winning original, remains to be seen, but this is the version to see first.
Just like Volume One, Madman's Volume Two of The Killing has a beautiful transfer, pin sharp and spread over 3 discs. English subtitles are provided.
As with Volume One, the audio reproduction for Volume Two is well suited to the material. The Danish Dolby Digital 2 channel surround track works perfectly, especially given that the series is dialogue driven. A 5.1 soundtrack is not really missed.
Extra Features
Volume One had no extras whatsoever and ditto Volume Two. Whilst some background information on the production would have been nice, the A/V quality and high standard of the series itself gets it past the gate. The fact that we in Australia seem to be the only country to actually have this in home video format at all, at least at the time of writing, is cause for celebration in itself.
The Verdict
Spread across six discs with a total of 20 one hour episodes, Volumes 1 & 2 of The Killing are must-haves for lovers of high caliber crime thrillers. Dense, dark and dramatic, it comes highly recommended.
Movie Score
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