Jo Nesbo's Headhunters
Jo Nesbo's Headhunters
(Morten Tyldum, 2011)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: A slick thriller from cinema's classy new crime capital (Scandinavia), 'Headhunters' is a breakneck head-scratcher with worldwide appeal.
The 'Scandi crime' sub-genre is throwing up nail-biting thrillers left, right and centre but 'Headhunters' will probably be remembered - when all the 'Dragon Tattoo' hype dies down - as being a particularly worthy entry. It isn't afraid to mix splattered blood and scattershot comedy, bringing forth that kind of compellingly uneasy tone that Hitchcock often used to his advantage.
'Headhunters' has a typically twisty plot regarding a headhunter/recruiter named Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie, excellent) who moonlights as an art thief to pay for the extravagant lifestyle his trophy wife apparently needs. His MO is classic: he interviews his victims, chats art and security as an aside to the job spec and then schedules them to meet with somebody while he robs their paintings and replaces them with printed off copies. However, it all gets complicated when his latest mark his an agenda of his own and is also having an affair with his wife sending Roger's life into a tailspin of deception.
There are dozens of twists and essential plotpoints to get through in this adaptation of a Jo Nesbo bestseller. They may all connect at the end but you can't help feeling that it's all a bit far fetched and too neatly tied up.
As a director, Morten Tyldum is fantastic at setting up suspence and driving us through it with gripping brutality and offbeat humour but he often fumbles the aftermath, downplaying the inner turmoil and keeping his narrative too slick for its own good. The characters have gone through hell but it feels like the devil always granted them a safety mat just in case.
Catch the theatrical trailer HERE and (if you're quick) our competition HERE.
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