Film Review: Headhunters

Based on Jo Nesbø’s novel, Headhunters is implausible but tremendous fun. Morten Tyldum’s crime thriller is highly recommended.

Roger Brown is a successful headhunter who lives in a swish apartment with his beautiful wife. In order to afford their extravagant lifestyle, Roger steals valuable portraits from clients, replacing them with forgeries. When he meets ex-mercenary Clas Greve at his wife’s art gallery, Roger thinks he has found his next target…

Morten Tyldum directs Headhunters with deftness. Action scenes are suitably frantic, and the film maintains a steady pace throughout. Although Headhunters can be tense at times, there is an underlying irreverence to the film. The action sequences never lose their sense of frivolity, despite a certain brutality to them.

Headhunters is a heady mix of creativity and predictability. There are some highly amusing moments in the film. Most will pick up the clues to see where the ending is going. This is not too much of a detraction, as Tyldum retains the fun factor. The central character Roger is fallible in his insecurities. He appears inferior to nemesis Clas in terms of looks and success; in this way he is more of an every man despite his questionable morals.

Headhunters offers sleek production values and cinematography. Performances are decent all around Aksel Hennie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau are well cast as Roger and Clas; both are sufficiently believable in the roles. Headhunters is recommended fro those who like their thrillers tinged with humour.

Headhunters is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2011.

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