04 December 2012

Film: Headhunters (2011)

Thoughts: Despite a rather tepid first act, Headhunter's latter thirds flip to balls-out insane, and in the best ways possible. It is exceedingly violent, it is intentionally twisted, and the ending wraps everything up in a nice little bow so as to leave no stones unturned. Sometimes that's all you want from a film though.

From imdb:
"Roger Brown works as one of the most powerful headhunters in Norway. To support his extravagant lifestyle, he is also an art thief, which he does in cahoots with his friend, the gun toting Ove Kjikerud. They replace the originals with forgeries, which go undetected at least until the trail back to the thieves goes cold. His outward bravado, based primarily on building upon reputation, masks his insecurities, especially in his short physical stature. He feels he needs that confident demeanor and wealth to get what he wants, including his trophy wife, art gallery owner Diana Brown. However, he almost seems to like the thought of what Diana represents more than Diana herself. As such, he has a mistress on the side named Lotte. The issue of having a baby - Diana wants to get pregnant while Roger doesn't want her to - is another bone of contention in their marriage. The two sides of Roger's professional life intersect when Diana introduces him to Clas Greve..."

Fuck, that's a lot of text. And it barely covers the first 10 minutes! I guess you can see what I mean by tepid: there's a lot to set up. And it's not all done through boring exposition- it is all actually quite well done and comes back full circle in the end. It's just that there is so much of it, and it takes the entire first 40 minutes to really hit the go button. Once it does though, hoo boy. Things go fucking apeshit real quick. Loyalties are tested and different characters rear their true heads in different ways. Now you're talking good, breakneck cinema.

All the actors do their thing accordingly, and special props must go to lead actor Aksel Hennie, who does a great job transforming (or is it conforming?) throughout the runtime. Plus he looks like a mini Christopher Walken, which is never a bad thing. Everyone else does well in their various roles as well, keeping things from going stale.

The action is brutal, the blood flows freely, the tension is high and the twists many. I can recommend this to fans of twisty thrillers with very satisfying endings.


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