REVIEW: 'Headhunters'

REVIEW: 'Headhunters'

REVIEW: 'Headhunters', Flicks.co.nz

4 stars

Norwegian thriller about a corporate art thief who goes for the biggest score of his career, but finds himself in great danger after the by-the-numbers heist goes bad. Based on the novel by Jo Nesbø. Now playing nationwide, click for movie times and trailer.

In the late '80s and early '90s, Hollywood specialised in thrillers about well-to-do people whose lives crumble all around them by their own doing. I loved these movies. Hollywood hasn't made a decent one in years but thankfully the Europeans are stepping up to fill the gap.

Following on from French films like Tell No One and The Big Picture, the Norwegian Headhunters tells a gripping story of one man's life falling apart as he sinks further and further into desperation. I loved it.

Many of the elements are familiar, but the setting, the actors and the director's confident style set them apart.

At first glance, Roger Brown (Askel Hennie) doesn't exactly look like your typical male film protagonist – he's small and wiry with bulging eyes. But he delivers an intense performance that pulled me along violently. He undergoes an unglamorous mid-film transformation and it's difficult to picture a major film star being willing to suffer such indignities on screen.

Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau cuts a nice line in inscrutability as a former mercenary whom Hennie teams up with and his performance bodes well for his future film career.

Although he's been publishing books since 1997, Jo Nesbo is one of many Scandanavian thriller writers being tagged as 'the next Stieg Larsson'. If Headhunters is anything to go by, I welcome further adaptations of his work.

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