After his break-out role in Casino Royale (by far the best Bond villain in ages) Mads Mikkelsen went on to appear in a series of interesting, and, on the whole, successful international releases: psychedelic Viking drama Valhalla Rising, French resistance thriller Flame and Citron, and art-house indie drama After the Wedding to name but a few. All of them capitalised on Mads’ brooding intensity and chiselled good looks, and while there’s no denying the camera loves him, his presence alone is not enough to save this somewhat confused offering from German director Anno Saul.
When his daughter dies in a tragic accident he could have prevented, artist David (Mikkelson) goes off at the deep end (literally, at one point) until he discovers a tunnel, at the end of which is a door leading back to the past. Seizing the opportunity to make things right, he’s then faced with a bit of bother in the shape of his previous self, who’s, understandably enough, surprised to see him(self). It’s a decent enough premise but unfortunately what follows is a rag-tag mix of mystery thriller (that’s neither mysterious nor thrilling) and sci-fi (although the logistics of time-travel are never raised, and the whole thing is set in the suburbs). That his daughter knows David is not all that he seems is a nice touch, but it doesn’t go really anywhere, and is soon replaced by a third act that borders on farcical.
To it’s credit The Door certainly keeps up the pace, although this might be because if it didn’t we might be forced to reflect on how implausible it all is. Supension of disbelief is, of course, a pre-requisite when it comes to material of this nature, but here the rules of the universe are too sketchy to convince. As for Mads, he’s as watchable as ever, but he really deservers better.