‘Child 44’ is a Dark Tale Told Unwisely | Review of ‘Child 44’

By: Cynthia Ayala

‘Child 44’ starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace & Gary Oldman
Distributed by Lionsgate Films

Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace star alongside one another once again to bring to life this 1950s Soviet Russia movie revolving around a mysterious serial killer who preys on young boys alongside the Russia train system.

Child 44 focuses on the mystery of the child killers while investigating the lack of an investigation. Tom Hardy plays Leo, a decorated agent of the Russia secret police who loses everything when he refuses to denounce his wife Raisa (Noomi Rapace) as a traitor. This sends them into exile into “a grim provincial outpost” where the number of child murders rises. Soon, the married couple find common ground in solving these mysterious murders as they team up with Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman), the only official investigating these murders.

Those three actors have an amazing dynamic with one another. Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace have become one of those on screen couples that complement each other brilliantly, whether they are in love or whether they are against one another, both of which they capture in the film. The pair of them not only played their parts well, but they also actually made the effort to sound Russian, to be Russians in the film versus Gary Oldman who – despite his incredibly acting skills – continued to sound like a British man in the Russian countryside. Nevertheless, that aside, the actors did an amazing job with what they were given.

As far as the story went, it was just a little complex and fragmented; not all the elements of the film connected well together. There was a lack of cohesion within the film, and while it added for good drama and suspense, it makes it difficult for the audiences to understand. There is the one plot line of his wife being a supposed traitor, forcing them into exile, a commodity due to his former rank; there is the bigger picture of the child murder who is traversing across Russia. Yet, Leo’s (Hardy) former compatriots are after him because he’s investigating the murders. It doesn’t make sense, even though the investigation goes against the Soviet doctrine, there isn’t enough evidence within the film to explain it why they want him dead so badly.

Overall, this was a half-decent movie. The acting and the dynamic between the cast members was strong, the only real flaw in the movie was the story that needed a little more fine-tuning and cohesion which would have made it a strong movie. (★★☆☆ | C)

– Film Credits –

Directed by Daniel Espinosa

Screenplay by Richard Price

Based on Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Starring: Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, Paddy Considine, Fares Fares, Jason Clarke & Vincent Cassel

Genre | Rating | Length: MysteryThriller | R | 2 hr. 17 min.

Distributed by Lionsgate Films

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