The famous Swedish detective has been re-booted by Netflix. Historically played as an aging, grumpy police officer, Young Wallander takes Kurt back to his youth and early days on the force. However, instead of actually going back in time Young Wallander is set in modern-day.
Even if you wrap your head around that, there are a few more problems. Over six episodes we see a Swedish crime drama, set in Sweden, with a Swedish actor who has a Swedish accent all played out in English. It even comes complete with a largely English cast, all of which begs the question – why isn't it in Swedish? I don't know the answer to that but it was definitely enough to frustrate me throughout the show.
Throw in a lead actor (Adam Pålsson) who speaks endlessly in breathless whispers and the problems keep racking up. I get that the creators of Young Wallander wanted to hark back to a time when a young Kurt was naive and optimistic. They needed a case that would alter who he was to give us a reason for why, as an older detective, he was so difficult. Unfortunately, this was not it.
Essentially the story goes that Kurt Wallander is a beat cop in Malmo. He lives in a pretty dodgy apartment building that is home to gangs and drug dealers. One evening, a young Swedish boy is found tied to a railing with a bomb in his mouth. The bomb goes off. The boy dies. Because he is already embroiled in the situation Young Wallander is promoted to detective instantly and now he must help solve the case.
Things get even more complicated when Wallander fins himself up against right-wing, anti-immigration protestors and a possible plot involving Malmo's richest family. And all while trying to find the whereabouts of a bomb that has come into Malmo.
Personally, I couldn't get past the fact that Adam Pålsson is the spitting image of Jonathan Groff (Mindhunter). I know that's not his fault but somebody really does need to do a DNA test on the two of them! It should have been in Swedish and that would have given the show more credibility. If it's nordic noir you're after, this isn't it. Check out Bordertown or Deadwind for better shows in the genre.