Hodejegerne [Headhunters] (2011)

Director: Morten Tyldum
Writer: Lars Gudmestad, Ulf Ryberg
Based on: Jo Nesbø‘s novel
Cast: Aksel Hennie, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Synnøve Macody Lund, Eivind Sander, Julie R. Ølgaard

Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is a pretty successful headhunter with a beautiful wife, Diana (Synnøve Macody Lund). But he also has quite the complex because he is rather short. He believes that he can only keep his wife if he provides her with a certain lifestyle – for which not even his very nice salary is enough. So he moonlights as an art thief to supplement his income. But when he gets the chance to steal from Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), an ex-special forces tracking expert, things spin out of control.

Hodejegerne is an extremely decent, very well paced thriller. But I never really connected to Roger and until the very end, I wasn’t really sure if I was actually supposed to root for him.

I’m not much of a thriller person, but as these movies go, this one really isn’t bad. They manage to stay clear of most plot holes (though not all) and it doesn’t get too unlikely. Most importantnly, the pacing is really good, keeping you engaged and the tension up.

But I did have problems connecting with Roger as a character. He’s just such an idiot. And I was really never sure, up until the last 20 minutes or so, whether they actually expected me to like him and to root for him. Because I did neither. I kept half-expecting that it would turn out that Greve was the good guy after all.

But apart from that, the film was fine. The performances were good, both Aksel Hennie and Nikolai Coster-Waldau were perfectly cast for their respective roles.

The film does unravel a bit towards the end and they don’t manage to put everything together, but that didn’t bother me much. And watching Roger going from bad to worse was rather entertaining while it lasted, even if it was in a slightly sadistic way.

Summarising: Entertaining.


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