Headhunters Review

Based on Jo Nesbo's bestselling novel, this freewheeling action-thriller is hugely entertaining because, besides being unpredictable and suspenseful, it's also relentlessly hilarious. But in fine Scandinavian style, it's played dead straight.

Roger (Hennie) is a fast-talking Oslo recruitment agent who's secretly self-conscious about his diminutive height. Terrified that his leggy, blonde wife Diana (Lund) will leave him, he moonlights as an art thief so he can afford to buy her expensive gifts. Then she introduces him to the suave, tall Clas (Coster-Waldau), who is both looking for a high-powered job and owns a lost Rubens painting. But before he knows what's happened, Roger is running for his life from a relentless high-tech assassin. And the cops think he's a killer.

The plot propels Roger at full-speed through a series of outrageous situations that are amusingly deadpan while being genuinely thrilling at the same time.

The title is a riot of puns relating to Roger's job, his pursuer and the idea that someone may have planted microscopic tracking devices in his hair. And while there's not much to the plot beyond the frenetic chase, the film is so much fun, and the hero is so easy to identify with, that we can't help but be hugely entertained.

Director Tyldum assembles this as a series of breathless set pieces, from art heists in broad daylight to a mind-boggling car crash. And the actors add insinuating layers , revealing glimpses of strength and vulnerability when we least expect them. The entire cast is excellent, and there's a range of terrific side-characters including Sander as Roger's scruffy partner in crime, Olgaard as Roger's lovelorn ex and Sorensen as the tenacious cop on the case.

At the centre, Hennie's Roger is an enjoyable action-movie hero who crushes every stereotype. Despite doing everything conceivable to lose our sympathy, we can't help but root for this idiot. As the events spiral out of control, Roger has no idea where he's going, only that he can't go back. But the film is so full of witty twists and turns that we just hold on for the ride, sure that the writer has something clever up his sleeve. Indeed he does.


Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th August 2011

Box Office USA: $1.2M

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: Friland Produksjon, Yellow Bird Films, Nordisk Film, ARD Degeto Film


Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 86 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Morten Tyldum

Producer: Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn

Starring: as Roger Brown, as Clas Greve, Synnøve Macody Lund as Diana Brown, Julie Ølgaard as Lotte, Eivind Sander as Ove, as Sindre Aa, Kyrre Haugen Sydness as Jeremias Lander, Reidar Sørensen as Brede Sperre, Nils Jørgen Kaalstad as Stig, Joachim Rafaelsen as Brugd, Mats Mogeland as Sunded, Gunnar Skramstad Johnsen as Monsen 1, Lars Skramstad Johnsen as Monsen 2, Signe Tynning as Morning Show Hostess, Nils Gunnar Lie as Morning Show Host, Sondre Abel as Okonomisjef