After a slow start, headhunters hits it’s straps half an hour in and the tempo from there is excellent. There’s a reasonably complexed story arc (the film’s adapted from Jo ‘the next Stieg Larsson‘ Nesbo’s book) which is really slickly delivered. In short, we have 1.68m tall Roger Brown (that’s 5ft 6in for most readers!) playing a successful headhunter, whose need for still more money moonlights as an art thief. After all his leggy trophy wife, Synnøve Macody Lund’s Diana, wouldn’t stay with a shorty like him otherwise, would she.
Silver-tongued on the silver screen, Aksel Hennie’s Roger is spiralling out of control though. Having recruited local security guard, Ove (Eivind Sander) to grease the cogs of moving the artworks on and shelling out large fractions to middle men, his returns on what he steals are diminishing at a rate that can’t keep up with his expensive life.
Then, as luck would have it, Clas Greve (played by Dennis Leary alike Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) the super rich and recently retired CEO of the main competitor to Roger’s employer, turns up at one of Diana’s art gallery launch parties. Lo and behold, not only is he potentially free to join Roger’s company, but he lets slip to Diana that he has a Rubens hanging in his flat that could be worth up to 100 million krona… The carrot dangled is too tempting and Roger knows this is his golden chance to secure security for eternity. Snatch the The Calydonian Boar Hunt and be forever rich and hold onto Diana.
To reveal more, would be to give away the twists and turns (and there are plenty of them) of this cleverly built film. There are also a few great scenes that won’t sit well with the more squeamish viewers out there… all I’ll say is toilet roll!
Even though this film had sneaked under my radar, it doesn’t surprise me to see it scoring so highly on Rotten Tomatos. It’s a cracker.
It’s an obvious parallel to draw, granted, but if you enjoyed any of the recent Scando dramas from Larsson’s trilogy, to Borgen, The Killing or even Wallander then I’m sure you’ll lap this up.
8/10 – A great thriller, with solid lead performances, a great story and some excellent set-pieces.
*watched at home on VirginMedia