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Jo Nesbø's Headhunters [15]

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Corporate headhunter becomes nocturnal thief. Norwegian thriller.

For a change: a fun movie not to take the kids to! It's as good as most of the one-liner reviews suggest it is (Guardian excepted). Clever, fast-moving, and the black comedy is great; but it occasionally meanders into serious movie territory at its peril. It's a bit like a Norwegian Tarantino-does-Bourne-Ultimatum! Don't try to piece together the holes in the plot afterwards. Nothing's perfect...but this movie gets closest this year for me.

JF , 10/04/12

Headhunters at the Phoenix Picturehouse, 6th April 2012

This is billed as a thriller but is in fact a love story….eventually. It ticks several other boxes too: it‘s all very engaging, ranging from the interesting to the extremely gross, from the sexy to the violent, from the wince-worthy to the intellectually stimulating and shocking, and of course some bits are laugh-out-loud funny. This is simply great entertainment, and what you might lose trying to follow the plot (which is actually more or less explained by the end), you gain just by soaking it up and going where the film takes you.

The rogueish and short Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) has very little to commend him. We find out from the opening credits that he‘s an art thief and simultaneously a recruitment specialist with an ability to understand how people tick and how to influence them. He‘s under pressure to finance his lavish life-style – the only way to keep his totally gorgeous artist wife Diana (Synnøve Macody Lund). They meet Clas (tall debonair Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the opposite of Brown) and the action logically emerges from this point. Taken in fully by the directing, for at least the first half hour I had no sympathy for any of the main characters, but the various strands meet again at various interesting points and understanding slowly dawned, to a surprising depth. I‘m sure there are holes in the plot (not as many as in the dead bodies, undoubtedly) but it works very well and is a very satisfying way of spending 1 hr 40 mins of your time.

Victor Street (DI User), 07/04/12

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