DVD Review: Headhunters

Directed By Morten Tyldum
Starring Aksel Hennie, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Synnøve Macody Lund and Eivind Sander



In the early 2000s, it was Japan and Asia who were the kings of international film, inspiring remakes left, right and centre, but over the past few years, Scandinavia have usurped that throne, with films and TV series like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Killing, Let The Right One In and Troll Hunter all garnering acclaim and being snatched up for English-language remakes. Headhunters (based on the novel by Jo Nesbø) only continues that streak of improbably good movies coming out of Scandinavia, delivering a barreling, taut and intensely enjoyable thriller that’s every bit as good as anything churned out by Hollywood.

Corporate headhunter Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is living a charmed life. He has a ridiculously attractive girlfriend, a high-power job and a huge salary, but his insecurities over dating a woman way out of his league lead him to buy insanely expensive things in hopes of keeping her interested and impressed. Living far beyond his means, Roger has fallen into a second career to supplement his income: Stealing priceless works of art. When he pilfers a painting from Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Game Of Thrones’ Jaime Lannister), a GPS tech magnate who happens to be a former elite soldier, Roger makes himself a new, deadly enemy who’ll stop at nothing to see him six feet under.
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Aksel Hennie’s character doesn’t exactly start out the good guy in Headhunters – a guy with buckets of misspent wealth who steals from strangers and cheats on his super-hot girlfriend isn’t quite the most heroic, endearing lead. And for a long while Headhunters’ clever, twisty script has you reveling in Roger’s unraveling as he’s relentlessly hunted by rugged, scorned soldier Clas Greve, forced to endure blood-soaked murder attempts, horrific car crashes, dog attacks and swimming hairstyle-deep in human crap to escape capture. But that same script soon has you wondering who the bad guy really is as the twists keep coming and the tension creeps ever higher.

Kicking off with a Burn Notice style ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Being An Art Thief’ narration from Hennie, Headhunters has style to spare and the tense thrills are undercut with a sly streak of pitch black humour. Aksel Hennie makes for a perfect weaselly antihero and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau oozes sinister charm. The script weaves a smart, taut and twist-filled tale and while the final act wraps everything up a bit too neatly and improbably, and the ‘here’s how everything tied together’ explanation is a bit of overkill, it’s as tightly paced, darkly funny and gleefully satisfying a thriller as almost any you’re likely to find nowadays.
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The DVD looks and sounds great, but sadly the only extra is a decent enough ‘Behind The Scenes’ feature that clocks in at a little over 20 minutes and a trailer.

The Film:

The DVD:




Headhunters is out on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK now.
Click here to order the DVD from Amazon.co.uk.