In a mind field of American films that neatly lay out plot, character and story like a lukewarm blanket for the mindless masses, leave it to other countries to preserve the one element that keeps the cinema rolling – unpredictability. The new Norwegian flick "Headhunters" is one such lush outing, a picture that isn't afraid to be pigeonholed because it all but crushes every predictable bone in the average movie body and rebuilds it with equal parts comedy, suspense, action and drama for one kick ass flick that works like a cinematic Rubik’s cube.
Roger Brown is a man who has built his life in an effort to possess only the finer things in life. He has a powerful job, designer clothes, a nice car, big house and a hot model wife that towers over his tiny frame. Not matter because in the life of Roger it’s all about perception and in the Headhunting realm Roger is king. Though to keep the good life going Roger also has a side business where he steals rare works of art and replaces them with simple knockoffs. But even in this area Roger is top of his game, but when he hears of a really rare painting ripe for the picking has he finally met his match?
It seems like this one is going down familiarity path, but I pledge to you "Headhunters" is a skull scratcher that will defy everybody’s educated guesses. Going from heist picture to Hitchcockian thriller, action romp to revenge picture, the film gleefully jumps genres at will and thankfully takes all its character along for the ride. Meaning performances like that of lead man Aksel Hennie, who goes from slick business shark to disillusioned victim. shine right alongside the stellar story work to provide a rollercoaster ride experience you only get when all the elements line up properly. (In fact all the characters within are lovingly layered – what a concept!) Director Morten Tyldum takes visceral and visual to a whole new level here – it’s the work of a skilled craftsman untouched by Hollywood.
Of course the work here is so impressive that all involved will probably move to America and begin working here, but I say stay away. It’s the unbridled, unfettered and 100% pure work done by those outside the system that reminds those here with a bad script and zero vision that there is life after laziness. "Headhunters" keeps the promise of great film alive and well.
"HEADHUNTERS" OPENS IN SELECT THEATERS ON APRIL 27 FROM MAGNOLIA PICTURES.