The Philosophical Problems of Black Crab Movie Explained

The Philosophical Problems of Black Crab Movie Explained
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The Philosophical Problems of Black Crab Movie Explained. Look – I love Noomi Rapace as much as the next person. But woah, does this Swedish film, Black Crab, have a lot to explain for itself. Never heard of it? Basically, Black Crab tells the story of a (localized?) global post-apocalyptic word of ice, terror, and war. Insurgents are attacking the government, the war has been on going for years. In the middle of it all, Caroline Edh (Noomi) gets separated from her daughter. And this mother, will do anything to get her daughter back… anything.

Because I’m not recommending this movie – but still want to discuss some of the philosophical details that go wildly awry here in the film, I’m going to fast forward through a quick overview of the movies happenings. Alright? Buckle up.

Black Crab Quick Walkthrough

Insurgents start a war in Sweden. We don’t know who they are, or what they want. But we do know that it brings about a Frozen-Mad-Max hellscape. At the start of it all, Edh’s daughter is abducted. Leap forward many years, and we meet Edh as a soldier for the government. She’s given new orders and a team, to ICE SKATE (I kid you not), on the open ocean, behind enemy lines, in order to deliver a game changing package. The enemy is immediately on their heels, and doesn’t let up til the end. Edh, and her diminishing band of merry skaters are helicopter chased, sniped, surrounded, and hold a Mexican standoff with a pair of grandparents none too pleased with their arrival.

Ultimately though, the group learns what is in the package. It’s a virus – viral pandemic – that the government plans to unleash on the fleeing refugees in order to deliver it to their enemies. Huh. But Edh has been told that her daughter is awaiting her at the delivery point. All Edh has to do is hand off the package and voila! Her daughter will be reunited with her again! So what does Edh do? She guns down a member of her team who is trying to do the right thing. She steals the package from him, and skates it to the checkpoint.

The Philosophical Problems of Black Crab Movie Explained

The Philosophical Problems of Black Crab Movie Explained

I have long wanted to write a book on movie morality. (“WHAT DID HE SAY?? Movie morality? Hollywood is immoral!!”) Sure, you may think that the cinematic universe has no morals, but it does. We, the movie going, ticket-paying customers, expect movies to make sense morally. We expect the heroes to remain good. We expect those that lie, cheat, steal, or in any way, don’t live up to the Hollywood Golden Rule of, “Don’t be a dick,” to not arrive at the finish line. Sure, anti-heroes have their own rules, and their own codas to live by, but they too must do good while doing bad. They can only kill badder guys. They can only do evil in pursuit of a final good. Right? John Rambo, a long-haired ex-war type is kicked out of a town, only to fight everyone in the corrupt town for his due. You get the idea… the viewing public gives them a pass because they are overcoming evil with evil, and giving justice to those people that needed it most.

But here we have Edh. Edh knows she’s one of the only people in the world capable of this skate. She’s an ex-speed skater, and she’s been given a job. And, as a perk, her daughter will be returned to her. But when she learns that this government she’s been fighting for, might just be the bad guys… she shoots one of her own squad, steals the capsules, and skates it to her government. It is only AFTER she hands over the capsules, and after her government informs her they lied to her, that she gets a conscience. It’s only THEN that she decides to do the right thing. To blow up the thing she fought so hard to deliver. And even that is solely because she knows that it would probably kill her daughter. Everything Edh does is selfish. Sure, I love a moving story about a mother and a daughter just as much as the next guy. But a story about a mother and her daughter at the expense of the entire world because of a bio-engineered pandemic? Yeah, no thank you.

Personally, I thought the screenplay was really easily fixed. If you make Edh realize that she loves her daughter, but that she can’t blow up the whole world in exchange for that love. And Nyland, her teammate with a conscience, you change him to the nationalist hell-bent on doing his duty for the love of country… or whatever. So he steals the virus. She hunts him, and kills him, gets the virus. She takes it to the government in the guise of the coming hero. She’s reunited with her daughter. Or better, the lie of her daughter’s never being there comes out… and she reveals she has dropped the capsules in the ocean. But to have a hero sell out the planet, no. That doesn’t work for me at all. Sure, she made amends at the end by blowing up the virus, and herself with it. But the story, and more so the morality (or lack thereof), just didn’t work for me. What did you think of the movie’s moral quagmires?

If you want a movie like this movie – but INFINITELY better – and also based on real life? Watch The 12th Man. Oh wow, that is an amazing movie. Totally worth your time. Does everything that this movie failed at, perfectly.

Edited by: CY