That Dutch director Arne Toonen has not yet crossed over in to the English language market is more than a little baffling to me. We first came across Toonen with his Guy Ritchie flavored crime thriller Black Out a few years back and he struck us then as a director absolutely built for international success. His work is pop in all the right ways ... beautifully designed and composed, crackling with energy and absolutely oozing style. Black Out was also, however, very much not the sort of work that typically finds support in his native land and so Toonen has largely spent the intervening years occupied with commercial work and more youth oriented fare, where he ahs experienced significant commercial success. But he's back now to the sort of stuff we love.
Toonen is now on screens throughout the Benelux with Amsterdam Vice (Baantjer Het Begin), what appears to be a revival of a popular TV series. Using a format fairly unique to parts of Europe, Amsterdam Vice is already planned (and funded) as a feature film leading directly in to a limited series which will then conclude with a second feature. That first film is out now and, yep, this carries all of Toonen's hallmarks. Absolutely fantastic production value, great style and energy and a sly sense of humor throughout. Here's hoping this gets picked up for global releases so audiences around the world can get a look.