Review: 'Headhunters'

By: Heather Seebach

Not a whole lot of Norwegian films make their way Stateside, except the occasional horror movie (e.g. Dead Snow, Cold Prey). Thankfully, Morten Tyldum's crime thriller Headhunters has been making a splash at American film festivals, and is set for a limited theatrical run starting April 27th. This import has swiftly become an audience favorite with its clever twists, thrilling action sequences, and surprising sense of humor. The movie has been sold to 50 countries - a record for any Norwegian film - and Summit Entertainment already bought the rights to produce an American remake. In all likelihood, this will become the next Scandinavian darling ala The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Based on Jo Nesbø's crime novel "Hodejegerne", Headhunters follows Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie, below), a corporate recruiter who overcompensates for his average looks and 5'6 stature with a tall, blonde wife and an outrageously-priced house. In order to afford this lavish lifestyle, Roger steals expensive artworks on the sly. When his wife introduces him to Greve, a tall, handsome colleague (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, above), Roger soon learns the man has a painting worth millions inside his home. Of course, the heist goes south as there is more to Greve's past than Roger initially realized. Thus begins an intense, often-outrageous cat-and-mouse scenario between the two men.

Roger, despite being kind of arrogant and slimy, is undeniably likable. Hennie brings a lot of charm and humor to the role. And Greve is a great foil, as well. Coster-Waldau already nails the bad guy role on HBO's Game of Thrones as Jamie Lannister, but fortunately this villain is more bad-ass mercenary and less incestuous douche-bag. Both actors are fantastic in Headhunters, as are the numerous supporting cast members.

The film is constantly engaging, with exciting action scenes and plenty of surprises. The story occasionally becomes over-the-top, but the tongue-in-cheek nature is clearly intentional. One of the movie's best attributes is its sense of humor, which strongly recalls the films of Joel and Ethan Coen. Think: the structure of No Country for Old Men but with the bleak humor of Fargo.

The only misstep in Headhunters arrives during its conclusion, where things feel a bit too convenient and neatly wrapped. Nevertheless, this is certainly not a film to be missed. Rumor has it Mark Wahlberg wants to remake the movie and cast himself as Roger - the short, blonde, ineffectual protagonist. Yikes. Please see Headhunters before that nightmare comes to fruition.


out of  5

Bookmark and Share

Like the post? Share with your friends!

Also find us here: