Set in the early 1980s, at the beginning of the Norwegian oil boom, Erik Skjoldbjærg’s (writer/director of original Insomnia) Pioneer tells the story of a trying partnership between Danish and American diving engineers, as they race to join two pipelines at the bottom of the ocean.
With great riches at stake, the relationship between the two teams quickly turns sour, as both employ dirty tricks to get one step ahead. However, when a tragic accident leaves of the Danish divers dead, our protagonist Petter (Hennie) soon realises that he’s in way over his head and if he doesn’t do anything about it, his own life will be at stake too.
Though the stellar acting talent do much to bring this amazing true story to life, Pioneer struggles to ever leave you on the edge of your seat. Aksel Hennie (Headhunters) is fantastic and the better known Wes Bentley and Stephen Lang bring some punch too, but the film fails to create the moments of real peril that are so crucial in this genre, and in the end the narrative feels a little too passive.