The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared follows the story of Allan Karlsson (Robert Gustafsson), a hundred year old man living in a retirement home. Just before his celebratory birthday, Allan decides he's had enough of the dull life he's been living since the death of his cat, and so he decides to climb out his window and leave town.
The film oh-so-obviously tries to be the foreign language equivalent of Forest Gump. For the rare few that haven't seen Forrest Gump, you may not entirely understand my point, although a more important matter is why the hell you haven't already seen Forrest Gump. As Allan goes upon his adventure, which involves a bunch of crazy killer thugs, a stolen elephant, a nutcase of an ex-boyfriend and a rather sly fox, he also narrates the story of his past. In this story he gets himself involved in a series of events which lead him to come across several famous people, or as for Herbert Einstein it's being related to someone famous, in a style and humour that's practically identical to Tom Hanks' masterpiece.
Thankfully, this film also manages to bring along some of the charm from the film it's ripping off. For a very dark black comedy, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared was also surprisingly sweet. We trail along with the innocent, or at least in his eyes, Allan, and it's undeniably wonderful. While the film isn't groundbreaking, it certainly is a blast. In fact, it's the little moments that pay off the most. The film approaches dark issues with lighthearted humour and a riot of a cast. The sequence in Allan's past where he's put into a prison (not a spoiler, don't worry) and meets an unusual friend is one of the funniest series of scenes in the entire movie.
The performances varied, although none stood out as miscast. Robert Gustafsson is the best thing that this film has going for it, and he's also the only actor that's able to steal every scene he's in, although I could also argue that Herbert Einstein was a show stealer. His performance brings serenity and innocence to this grim tale of murder, war and revenge. Alan Ford, the only recognisable actor, was oddly enough the most irritating aspect of this movie. His character is weak and all of his dialogue consists of him either yelling into his phone or yelling at one of his employees. His character isn't fun at all.
The film's runtime lingers on a little too long. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is far from a bloated movie, its watchable so long as you can suspend your disbelief for two hours. It's biggest flaw is that it's simply longer than it needs to be. There's plenty of fat to be trimmed, and it's almost embarrassing that some of it wasn't. The film is much better suited to a smaller ninety minute runtime than the length that it currently sits at.
To sum up, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared isn't groundbreaking and it clearly steals from Forrest Gump, but that also makes the film undeniably wonderful, with a charming lead performance to help.