'Headhunters' Review: Employing a Savage Sense of Criminal Comeuppance

"Headhunters" is a nasty little crime thriller from Norway that keeps twisting you into a state of tense uncertainty right up to the end.

The movie is admirably faithful to the unsavory Jo Nesbø novel on which it’s based—a book that contains one scene that might have seemed unfilmable, although not anymore—and after slapping you around with a procession of very clever plot twists, it leaves you spent and spinning.

The story is set in Oslo, and revolves around a devious character by the unlikely name of Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie). Roger is a top corporate headhunter, renowned for his ability in tracking down the very best candidates for executive positions at the companies that retain his services. In the course of these pursuits he learns everything there is to know about his prized targets—not only their professional accomplishments, but whether they own any expensive art, whether their wives work outside the home, whether they own a dog. This information is most useful in Roger’s secret secondary career—as an art thief preying on the distinguished hotshots he’s bagging for high-level employment.

Fundamentally insecure about his height—he’s five feet, six inches tall—Roger is consumed with social status: designer clothing, top-of-the-line cars; he also has a beautiful blonde trophy wife named Diana (Synnøve Macody Lund, a Norwegian film critic making her movie debut) whom he lives in constant fear of losing. Despite his apparent prosperity, though, Roger is drowning in debt. And when Diana decides to open an art gallery—to be subsidized by her husband—he realizes he needs to steal something really valuable to keep his lifestyle going.

Read the full review at Reason.com


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