I’m not sure how to think about or categorize 2021’s Norwegian film, The Trip, on Netflix. The first thing I would say is, Americanizing foreign films is the worst. I’d rather read subtitles and keep the actors in the film’s original dialogue rather than see dubbing. Dubbing has never looked good to me. I get over it after a while because I have to, but please give me subtitles instead! Secondly, the original Norwegian title, I Onde Dager, which translates into English as, In Bad Days, is a much more compelling title than, The Trip.
And “in bad days” plays on the story told in the film, anyhow, about a couple (Lars and Lisa, played by Aksel Hennie and Noomi Rapace, respectively), who are both plotting to kill each other when they go to a remote cabin getaway for their anniversary.
I took it as a play on traditional wedding vows of a husband/wife promising to love and cherish the other in good times and in bad times, or in this case, “until death do us part,” hehe.
This movie is more comedy-action than it is a straight thriller or something like that. And I’ve seen people compare it to a Wes Anderson film in its quirkiness, which I get, and also, its aesthetic, which I also get.
I should note at the outset here that Lars and Lisa are both trying to make it in the Norway version of Hollywood, but aren’t quite successful at it. That’s where a lot of resentment of the other manifest.
And it’s very creative in the way the film is told because it’s not as straightforward as you would expect: First, Lars tries to kill Lisa, but she gets the jump on him. Then Lars’ friend, who was to help with the murder, comes (late) to get the jump on Lisa, and then Lars frantically kills that friend when Lisa gets him to turn on Lars, and then they both try to kill each other until three inmates-on-the-run quite literally drop in on them (from the attic) and take them hostage until Lars is able to spring them both.
And then as they’re trying to get away from these three inmates, they’re able to kill one of them and I believe two are still holding them hostage when Lars’ old man, who had sprung himself from the nursing home and traveled to the cabin, runs over one of the inmates. He then gets brutally attacked and nearly killed by the main inmate, but is able to crawl away to a hammock to watch the sunrise and die. The old man just wanted one last battle before his death!
The film even has a happy ending, as Lars and Lisa survive and realize, this is their best opportunity to make it big in the film world in Norway by twisting the narrative of how they survived the hostages (and of course, ignoring the part about wanting to kill each other and killing Lars’ friend).
I thought the narrative arc of this, jumping forward and then jumping back to fill in the gap, like of how the old man sprung himself from the nursing home, was well-done and despite how over-the-top, Tarantino-like violent it was (which I don’t mind), the film was funny as heck, too. Because even during the worst of the violence and/or hostage moments, Lars and Lisa were still bickering and denigrating each other.
I also have to give a particular shout-out to Noomi Rapace because she killed it in this film. She was a formidable foe to not only Lars, but to the inmates. She was game to try to take on this huge Norwegian Nazi. Literally. And she’s Jewish! Even better. She would make a great “final girl” in a horror flick.
Overall, I’d highly recommend giving this a watch on Netflix, if you’re looking for something light, but fun with a lot of style and twists and turns.