Headhunters (2011)

I quite enjoyed Headhunters. It was certainly a little far-fetched but hey, for most crime thrillers, I’m all for suspending my belief and just running with it.

Headhunters is a Norwegian movie about an art thief who gets a little in over his head (an obvious pun. That was nearly unforgivable). The main character is played by Aksel Hennie. He looks so much like Steve Buscemi and a young Christopher Walken and yet, I found him to be attractive. It was messing with my mind the whole time.

headhunters-movie-posterThe movie opens with him emphasizing his height – 5’6″ – and how he probably isn’t deserving of his wife, who is clearly taller than 5’6″ and has model-good looks. He’s clearly a guy who makes up for his height with attitude and spending too much money. I honestly thought it was going to be a heist movie but it turned out to be something else.

It was a goddamn thriller. There were a few minutes where I got so anxious I wanted to skip ahead in the scene because I couldn’t stand to watch the scene play out. For instance, a majority of the movie is Aksel’s character on the run from (the very good looking) Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who many will recognize as Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones). Anyway, he’s in a car pretending to be dead after being sent off the road by Nikolaj. His eyes are wide open as Nikolaj comes to the car to check that he is indeed dead and what ensues is an unbearable 30 seconds (that seems like minutes, I swear to god) where AKSEL CANNOT BLINK OR HE’LL BE FOUND OUT AND PROBABLY TORTURED.

The tone of the movie is fascinating. It really is a thriller and is kind of dark. People die and are practically terrorized but it has all of these light-hearted notes. Some jokes. Some quips. Maybe that’s how Norwegian filmmakers are. I’m not sure, I’m not especially familiar.

I generally enjoyed it. There were some really unbelievable moments but, y’know, sometimes you have to roll with it. There was even a good twist. I certainly didn’t see it coming. All in all, not a perfect movie by any means but 100 minutes well spent.

**** stars

[edit: I also just found out that the rights to this have been bought for a god damn American remake. Every god damn time!]

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