Monday, January 28, 2013

Hodejegerne (Headhunters) (2012)

Seen: On our projector set-up, streamed from netflix instant.

Goodness will the stream of 2012 movies I missed never end? Probably not, since I'm typically terrible at catching up with these things. Anyway Headhunters tells the woeful tale of smarmy jerk Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie), a headhunter who knowingly compensates for his shortness by becoming an art thief so he can shower his super hot wife Diana (Synnøve Macody Lund) with gifts and generally live beyond his means. When dashing retired businessman Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) waltzes into Diana's art gallery for an appraisal of a Rubens stolen during WWII, Roger sees a perfect target. But when he sets out to steal the painting, everything goes downhill, like really downhill. Like, jumping off a cliff. Literally.

With a gross protagonist and a twisted plot, Headhunters is a darkly funny, somewhat gory thriller that moves its way slightly into mindfuck territory. You're kind of equally horrified and terrifically entertained as the plot moves into unexpected areas and Roger contends with worse and worse challenges to survive. I hated Roger, the dude just sucks, but it was fascinating to see how he handled this crazy life-or-death situation as he ran from a mysteriously driven mercenary. No one is especially likable in this movie, I don't think the filmmakers were out to get us on anyone's side. I'll admit I was rooting for Clas Greve, mainly because he's so handsome! And scary.

Initially I thought this was more about art heists than it actually is, it's more a mad dash for survival with a few sexy bits and relationship squabbles thrown in. Plus a mystery, kind of. It's still a very good film, even if I was caught off guard by how harsh it was. Good twists, great action, and an interesting premise; my main issue is with the ending. *Spoiler Alert* I really didn't want Roger to get away! He was such a dick, and far less capable than Clas, it just seemed so unlikely that he could win. And the fact that he didn't even have to move or anything, I figured at the very least they could have him starting over in a new city or something. Jeez. It was just too ridiculous.

4/5

Pair This Movie With: The Scandinavian black comedy-thriller atmosphere reminded me of Terribly Happy, a Coen-esque Danish film from a few years ago.

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