Review: ‘Exit Plan’

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Is At The End Of His Rope In Confusing Drama

Max Isaksen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is a man at the end of his rope in Exit Plan. As an insurance claims adjuster, he is constantly surrounded by death. In fact, Max denies Alice Dinesen’s (Sonja Richter) claim to pay out her husband Arthur’s (Anders Mossling) life insurance policy. Arthur has been missing for six months and presumed dead, but it cannot be proven. Even with such a morbid profession at times, Max takes solace in his love, Lærke (Tuva Novotny). However not even Lærke is enough to help Max handle the curveball life throws at him.

Max finds out he has an aggressive brain tumor. One that is in a place that makes surgery impossible. Although Max’s doctor is strangely vague, he realizes the end is near. By pure happenstance Alice reaches back out to Max with proof of her husband’s demise. Alice shows Max a self-recorded video Arthur made from a place called Hotel Aurora.

Hotel Aurora is an assisted suicide resort/lodge hybrid. Max decides that he can’t end his own life and needs Hotel Aurora’s help. Everything seems friendly enough at Hotel Aurora. They welcome Max, comfort him, and provide him with the standard issue pajama uniform. Soon Karen (Solbjørg Højfeldt) comes to help Max plan for his final journey. While Karen and Hotel Aurora seem warm and welcoming, there may be something more sinister lurking beneath.

Exit Plan has some things going for it. Coster-Waldau gives a solid performance that helps drive the film. Director Jonas Alexander Arnby employs fantastic visuals and perfect audio choices throughout. Hotel Aurora has a huge sprawling compound. At it’s face it is gorgeous with stunning mountain and lake views. As you dive further down you see the cavernous underbelly. As Max explores its depths everything changes to gray and bleak colors accompanied by eerie and slow music. Arnby also has some interesting camera angles and shot framing that add to Exit Plan’s visual appeal.

The good comes with the bad. Exit Plan’s narrative devolves into a jumbled mess as the film can at times be all over the place. Not only does it jump back and forth through time, but it plays with the idea of reality. As Max struggles to comprehend what is real or when is real or what the hell is going on – the audience does the same. It seemed like writer Rasmus Birch and Arnby try too hard to add twists and keep the audience guessing. The plan backfires as Exit Plan loses more and more steam as the confusion adds up. Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good and Exit Plan is not memorable or enjoyable enough to seek out.