Cinema Review: Headhunters

Paris Hilton with designer dog

DIR: Morten Tyldum • WRI: Lars Gudmestad, Ulf Ryberg • PRO: Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn • DOP: John Andreas Andersen • ED: Vidar Flataukan • DES: Nina Bjerch Andresen • Cast: Aksel Hennie, Synnove Macody Lund, Julie R. Olgaard

While all of the promotional material for this movie would have you believe that this is the new The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, in reality this is a far more entertaining, if also far slighter, entry into the Scandinavian best-selling adaptation league.

Roger Brown (Christopher Walken/Steve Buscemi love-child lookalike Aksel Hennie) seems to have the perfect life; magnificent home, an out-of-his-league wife (Synnøve Macody Lund), and a good job as a renowned recruitment consultant. But Brown is forthcoming about his own, well, shortcomings; he suffers from ‘Small Man Syndrome’ (his wife is at least 12 inches taller than him), and to help make up for this, Brown doubles as an art-thief, which helps keep him and his spoiled wife in the life they’ve become accustomed to.

Then Brown meets the charming, ridiculously handsome Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who seems to be a dream come true, as he just happens to perfectly suit a multi-million Euro making position that Brown needs to fill, and he just happens to have a near-priceless painting just hanging about in his attic. But, like all things – seems too good to be true…

Once Brown nicks the painting, the film kicks into high-gear and does not let up until the end credits roll. It’s impossible to say much more about the movie without giving away some of it’s neck-snapping plot twists, but to say that Brown is put through the wringer is an understatement. Some of the plot convolutions verge on ridiculous, and it weighs too heavily on coincidence on more than one occasion, but the entire thing is handled with such a darkly humorous touch that it’s hard to fault some of it’s less serious moments.

Already being remade by the Hollywood machine, this will not get people talking the same way Dragon Tattoo did, but it is far more likely to be something you’ll rewatch on DVD without it feeling like a psychological endurance test.

Rory Cashin

Rated 16 (see IFCO website for details)
Headhunters is released on 6th April 2012

Headhunters – Official Website

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