Netflix has picked up a solid Danish crime drama in Warrior, which combines Sons of Anarchy with Copenhagen’s brutal underworld.
Debuting on Netflix today, Christoffer Boe’s Danish-language six-part miniseries Warrior (otherwise known as Kriger) manages to be greater than the sum of its parts. Packed with clichés and typical genre elements, it’s nonetheless a well-constructed delve into Copenhagen’s criminal underworld, with a strong central performance from an excellent Danica Curcic holding things together.
You know the story. Danish-Iraqi actor Dar Salim plays CC, a guilt-ridden war veteran whose bestie, Peter, died under his command. Back home in Copenhagen, Peter’s widow, Louise (Curcic), manipulates CC into dangerously infiltrating a biker gang known as the Wolves, led by the elusive Tom (Lars Ranthe).
If you’re imagining scenes in which the undercover hero is forced to prove his loyalty, you’re on the right track. There’s a lot of that stuff, as CC shoves his head further and further into the lion’s mouth, and the lion, predictably, decides it likes the taste.
Dar Salim is mostly required by Warrior to be tough and stoic, which he’s good at, though a greater emotional range might have been appreciated here and there. But really it’s Curcic who provides the show’s emotional core, and she does a fine job in that regard, leaving the macho posturing to Salim and Lars Ranthe’s rather cartoonish villain.
Also unsurprising is the underlying air of sexual chemistry between the leads, and the various sociological microcosms of the military, the police force, the criminal underworld and civilian life, which gives Warrior some necessary texture. The vaguely hypnotic cinematography captures Copenhagen from odd angles and in unusual colours, keeping the relatively rote material feeling sharp and distinct.
Netflix is no stranger to overseas crime dramas: Sacred Games, Money Heist, Deadwind, Ultraviolet. Warrior will fit right in with the crowd, but it also does just enough to ensure that it stands out from the pack.