From director Erik Skjoldbjærg, the producers of Headhunters (2012) and starring Aksel Hennie, Pioneer exposes the shocking truth behind the birth of the Norwegian oil industry. Enormous oil and gas deposits are discovered in the North Sea at the start of the 1980s and the aim is to bring the oil ashore though a pipeline from depths of the ocean bed.
Aksel Hennie makes a credibly resourceful yet vulnerable hero as Peter, a veteran deep-sea diver. Unlike his similarly employed brother Knut, played by Andre Eriksen, Peter comes across as a compulsive risk taker who is determined to reach the bottom of the Norwegian Sea. Both men sign up for the dangerous assignment to construct the pipeline and must summon the discipline, strength and courage to take on the world’s most dangerous mission.
But after a sudden tragic accident changes everything. Peter is sent on a perilous journey where he loses sight of who’s pulling the strings. Gradually he realizes that he is in way over his head and that his life is at stake.
Skjoldbjærg as a film maker has a keen knack for suspense and Pioneer does not disappoint. The opening scenes are shot in confined tubes with thick, glass peepholes that instantly set a claustrophobic feel for the rest of the film. Skjoldbjærg impressed film lovers with his debut Insomnia in 1997, and promises to thrill them once again with this clever, edgy conspiracy story which is based upon real events.