Headhunters

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Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is all too aware of his own shortcomings. That’s what comes from being a successful corporate headhunter, having a statuesque blond wife (Synnøve MacodyLund) and topping out heightwise at 5'6"—you overcompensate with the finer things, from expensive meals to the latest fashions, maintaining the highest standard of living. But when disposable income inevitably dwindles, what do you do? For Roger, the answer is simple: moonlight as an art thief.

That would be enough of a premise for most movies, but this crazily amusing thriller, adapted from a popular novel by Norwegian author Jo Nesbø, isn’t content to stick with heist genre conventions. After Roger steals the painting of a slickly charming business rival (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), our self-assured, snappily dressed protagonist’s perfect life spectacularly unravels: He discovers his wife is cheating on him, his partner in crime is murdered, and are those little tracking devices in his hair? As the twists and turns get nuttier, so do the set pieces—there’s a gleefully retchworthy suspense scene in an outhouse, as well as a comically macabre car crash with two obese cops used as human air bags—and Hennie, who looks like a Nordic clone of Christopher Walken, makes for a splendidly charming antihero. Though the film wraps up its spinning-plates narrative a little too neatly, this is still a Scandi-noir to die for.

Follow Keith Uhlich on Twitter: @keithuhlich

Release details

Rated: R
Release date: Friday April 27 2012
Duration: 100 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Morten Tyldum
Cast: Aksel Hennie
Nikolai Coster Waldau
Synnøve Macody

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