I had another good weekend for movie-going catching two. First up was Headhunters, a Norwegian film that caught me entirely by surprise. Roger Brown is a player of the highest order. He’s clearly one of Norway’s top vocational headhunters finding talent for only the largest and most successful companies. He has a stunningly beautiful live-in girlfriend and all the accouterments to go with the life—or so it seems. You see, Roger has a secret. He’s not really half as successful as he lets on and needs to supplement his income with a very risky side-occupation as a fine-art thief. His day job serves as not only excellent cover but also as a wonderful scouting platform for would-be targets. The people he meets just love to impress him by talking all about the amazing pieces of fine art they own.
The only problem is, that like the Old West, there’s always a faster gun out there somewhere and if you run into them it’s light’s out.
That’s the premise behind the film and the amazing journey it takes you on is pure enjoyment from start to finish. The film changes gears like a finely-tuned sports car. One moment it’s a drama, the next it’s as good as any Alfred Hitchcock thriller which then morphs into a touching romance and off to a smidgen of horror. Wash, rinse. Repeat—and how you’ll love to do so.
Everything in the movie works. I spent the entire film riveted to the screen totally invested in every single character we meet. The casting is spot on. The main star (Aksel Hennie) is wonderful in the role and would easily handle becoming a major action star. He just owns the screen.
Try not to blink too often as the plot twists, twists again and turns back onto itself continually keeping you guessing. It’s one of those films where you’re absolutely certain you know what’s coming next only to have it go in another entirely unexpected but equally welcome direction.
If there’s any knock at all it’s that the plot might be a bit dense to follow in a few spots but, frankly, that didn’t matter all that much. Even if you miss one connecting element (or three) it’ll all make perfect sense in the end.
This foreign film is easily one of the best films I’ve encountered so far this year and it’s one that should do exceptionally well with men and pretty well with women. Guys? This might just be the perfect choice for a Friday night movie date.