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Headhunters - Film Review

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by Haydn Radford (subscribe)
Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events.
Published February 25th 2012
HEADHUNTERS - Exciting crime fiction

Headhunters is the latest film by Norwegian Director, Morten Tyldum Buddy [2003], Fallen Angels [2008]. [/I] Based on the 2008 crime thriller novel of the same name by Jo Nesbo, about a corporate headhunter, Roger Brown, who moonlights as an art thief.

Brown has been getting away with regular art thefts with what appears to be a foolproof plan due to the assistance from a partner in a high tech security company. We know, for there to be an exciting story, something must go wrong, and boy do the wheels fall off when things begin to go wrong. This well thought out man-on-the-run thriller balances character and plot. It is an action-filled, entertaining, gripping and unquestionably an unpredictable series of events, one after another.

Brown (Aksel Hennie) by the way, has an amazing resemblance to a young Christopher Walken, is very successful in both his chosen career paths. During the opening scenes he explains to us, how he steals soley to support his extravagant lifestyle, which includes his beautiful wife, Lotte (Julie R. Olgaard). Brown is very self-conscious of his height - he's 5'9. This obsession with his height is a real bone of contention with him, as Lotte is a stunning long legged beauty, whom he lavishes with expensive gifts, fearing she may leave him.

Roger Brown in action, well sort of...

Due to Brown living way beyond his means he is lured into committing a major art theft worth millions, from a potential new client, Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Clas is a tall, handsome, ex-military special forces mercenary, who is attracted to Diana, who reciprocates. Brown's plan quickly derails, which cultivates into a succession of unexpected twists and turns, due to the multi-layered plotting of screenwriters Lars Gudmestad and Ulf Ryberg who constantly lead you into believing one thing is going to happen and moments later a new development occurs that shows you couldn't be further from the truth. Tyldum will not only have you gasping with suspense but laughing with some wonderful black humour, which is clever and funny.

To be fair, despite this being an exceptional movie, a couple of the scenes will not be accepted by everyone, whether it be Brown's hiding in the outside dunny, or his tampering with the coroner's evidence. I accepted both, because the plot is so good, with it's many unexpected surprises which will certainly entertain and thrill audiences.

The entire cast provide excellent performances.
Aksel Hennie, Max Manus [2008], Buddy [2008], Somewhat Gentle Man [2010], Age of Heroes [2011] received Best Norwegian Actor Award. Hennie transforms from an unlikable character into a genuine anti-hero.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (as Clas Greve), Black Hawk Down [2001], Wimbleton [2004], New Amsterdam [2008], Game of Thrones [2011]. Coster-Waldau is so believable as the business CEO and highly trained killer who is so ruthless and relentless as he pursues Brown.

Synnove Macody Lund (as Diana Brown) Headhunters is her debut role as an actor She is a former journalist and model and provides the film's emotional balance.

**** 1/2 out of *****
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Why? It will more than satisfy those who seek the macabre with heaps of action, mystery, thrills and excitement.
Where: Palace/Nova
Cost: Check your cinema for details.
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