Format: Cinema

Release date: 6 April 2012

Venues: UK wide

Distributor: Momentum

Director: Morten Tyldum

Writers: Lars Gudmestad, Ulf Ryberg

Based on the novel by: Jo Nesbø

Original title: Hodejegerne

Cast: Aksel Hennie, Sinnøve Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Norway/Germany 2011

100 mins

A slick thriller with hints of B-movie horror, Norwegian director Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters is an entertaining adaptation of Jo Nesbø′s bestselling crime novel. Aksel Hennie plays Roger Brown, a man who – on the surface, and despite his insecurity about his height – seems to have it all: beautiful wife, stunning home, flashy car. But none of this is really paid for by his job as a renowned headhunter. Instead, Roger is also an art thief, whose wealthy, high-powered clients are all potential victims, including Clas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), an extremely successful executive with chiselled good looks and an inherited Rubens. While some of the early twists in this classic heist film might be predictable, the film soon shifts into some unexpected directions, as Clas turns out to be a terrifying opponent who mercilessly hunts Roger down, completely upending his life.

Some of the plotting does not hold up to close scrutiny, and sympathising with Roger is a stretch (he’s a womaniser as well as a thief), but it’s a well-executed, well-acted film that has enough going on to make it a fun watch. Occasionally gory, sometimes silly, it’s a cut above the usual crime caper.

This review was first published as part of our coverage of the London Film Festival 2011.

Sarah Cronin

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