Sunday, 19 April 2015


I am becoming embarrassingly lazy when it comes to watching trailers.  I either watch a couple that are played to death in the cinema or I watch none.  Child44 was the latter. 
In keeping with tradition I didn’t bother to read the book by Tom Rob Smith before seeing the film although I did think about it.  I read The Farm instead and absolutely loved it which left me in no doubt that Child44 would be of the same high standard.
PLOT:  Set in Stalinist Russian a paradise supposedly free from murder, Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy) discovers that a serial killer is preying on young boys.   After being demoted from his high ranking position in the army for refusing to denounce his wife as a traitor Leo is sent to the country where he continues searching for the killer.  END PLOT
Despite never being boring Child44 ultimately fails as it doesn’t know what sort of film it wants to be – it isn’t thrilling enough to be a political thriller, it isn’t dramatic enough to be a crime drama and it doesn’t delve into the history of Stalinist Russia in any great depth.  It’s a series of scenes, each grimmer than the last, until a final and unsatisfying showdown in a muddy forest.   
I have always been on the fence about Tom Hardy but in Child44 he proves to be a more than capable lead in what is his most impressive performance to date.  Hardy and the talent of the supporting cast which includes Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, Joel Kinnaman and Fares Fares try to paper over the cracks in the script but unfortunately the range of commitment to the Russian accent was too wide and there were a few occasions when a crisp English accent stuck out like a sore thumb – Charles Dance’s scene appeared to have been filmed on the set of The Imitation Game the only difference being the Russian flag in the corner of the room rather than the British! 
The sets and costumes were appropriately grim and helped to capture the poverty and paranoia of the time but like everything else it just left me wanting to learn more about the history of Russia rather than emotionally invest in the film. 

Child44 was watchable but not memorable and given the cast involved it has to be considered a wasted opportunity.  It gets 5/10.  I suspect that a lot of the depth and detail from the book didn't make it onto the big screen but it hasn't put me off a film adaptation of The Farm..... there is a book with potential.


  1. That's a real shame, talent assembled should have equaled out to some better results.

    The Charles Dance thing is hilarious!

    1. I suspect there were issues transferring it from a book to a two hour film which is a shame.

      The Charles Dance scene was so weird. The film cut from dark and grimy Russian to his spacious and well lit office which was essentially an exact replica of his office in The Imitation Game right down to the big wooden desk! It was such an odd moment lol

  2. Weird. Such a fantastic cast involved in such a disapointing movie. Below 30% on RT, bombed at the US box office... well, the marketing was pretty much non-existent and the trailers looked very bland. Won't go see this.

    1. It is a total dud. Which is such a shame given the talent involved!

      It might be worth a look if it comes your way on tv but I'd save my cinema pennies for something else - like The Avengers!! ;-)

      K :-)