I just love Danish films, in fact, don’t tell anyone, I may be maturing, I tend to be preferring foreign films over commercial films and have started to prefer the art house cinema product over the big commercial product. This could be a product of watching 3489751390853457319087578341 films a year, the commercial shit just blends together, do not get me wrong, Hollywood is still making some gold, but when you hear things like “Mrs Doubtfire 2” is being made you kind of shake your head and reach for the red wine. After the Danes released the amazing film of last year, THE HUNT, it is reassuring to see this amazing follow up being directed by Tobia Lindholm, the co-writer of THE HUNT. A HIJACKING is basically CAPTAIN PHILLIPS but better, no bullshit, no gloss, more real and exactly what you would imagine a Somalian ransom boat hijacking would be. A HIJACKING is out now on DVD is rated M and runs for 99mins. You can buy it right HERE if you are unlucky and do not win one of the 5X copies we have with thanks from MADMAN. As a bonus, if you win this comp you also get a copy of a NZ film from Madman called WHITE LIES. White Lies did my head in, not reviewing it, but it is made with quality and you may get more out of it than me :).






The Danish cargo ship MV Rozen is heading for harbour when it is hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. Amongst the men on board are the ship’s cook, Mikkel (Pilou Asbæk, BORGEN) and the engineer, Jan (Roland Møller), who, along with the rest of the crew, are taken hostage in a cynical game of life and death. With a ransom demand in the millions of dollars, a psychological chess game unfolds between the CEO of the shipping company (Søren Malling, THE KILLING) and the Somali pirates.

The sad thing about this film is that this came out in 2012 and is a complete masterpiece, I am actually keeping my own copy of this, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS came out in 2013, I will not be obtaining a copy of that, but I rated that a 4.5 pops – so you can imagine what I think of A HIJACKING. BRILLIANT!!! Why this version was kept from the greater world I do not know, I did not hear of it getting cinema release in Australia, I lie, we missed a screening at the Sydney Film Festival last year but that was it. Why money could not be put into marketing this film I will never know. The one good thing that CAPTAIN PHILLIPS did better was Barkhad Abdi as Abduwali Muse, he really was a marvel in that film.


A HIJACKING IMAGE, Mikkel Hartmann (Pilou Asbæk)
A HIJACKING | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | Mikkel Hartmann (Pilou Asbæk)


I cannot fault this film in anyway. The set design, costumes, sound, music, direction, screenplay, acting, cinematography is all riveting, I could nearly smell their sweat and vomit and the blood of goats. I could feel their heat and blocked pores from not washing. And I could feel the tension from their lives during this predicament. One thing I really loved was how the transaction of the negotiation of the hijacking was handled, it was a standard business negotiation and I honestly can believe this. It was less of a military war movie and more of a game of cat and mouse using property, money and lives as trade. Perhaps not as riveting on the big screen by Hollywood standards but the Danes thought so and the business side was as exciting to me as the hostage side. These negotiations took a very very long time and you could see the toll it took on all involved. While you could see Mikkel Hartmann (Pilou Asbæk) physically deteriorate and become mentally destroyed in an environment without airconditioning, stifling heat, starvation and desperation I also saw similar, although less physical in the CEO of the company, Peter C. Ludvigsen (Søren Malling) who operated out of the offices in Copenhagen, had beautifully pressed suits and great offices but also took on the responsibility of directly negotiating with the terrorists, this contrasting, although similar predicaement of these two men is what set this film miles in front of CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. I actually believed he really did care for his staff, he wanted nothing more than getting them back and as safely as he could.


A HIJACKING IMAGE, Peter C. Ludvigsen (Søren Malling) and Business Associates
A HIJACKING | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | Peter C. Ludvigsen (Søren Malling) and Business Associates


The film oozes tension and psychological trauma, the mind destroying tactics of the Somali “negotiator,” although without a doubt the ringleader of these horrible individuals is horrendous. To him life means nothing, they are all currency to get his goal of the most amount of money as they can. I liked that the Somali pirates were never really shown as monsters, you never see huge acts of aggression, yes they are the captors but they are not really physically menacing, what I saw instead was that they were in power, there was no argument, every fate was left to them, and you could see this destroy the chef.

Everything about this film is clever, it is psychological, tense, white knuckle edge of your seat stuff from go to woe. GET INTO IT!!


5 Pops


With special thanks to MADMAN to win one of the 5x copies of the DVD of A HIJACKING you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer to the following question:

What is your favourite HIJACKING film and why?  

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then get with the times old timer haha – You can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jkdigitaldesigns@gmail.com telling me you don’t have social media 

Prizes will be awarded based on skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent in the next week or two. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.



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