(Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, et al / R / 97 mins / Magnolia Pictures)
Overview: An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.
Verdict: I have to say that in this subtitled Norwegian film (known there as 'Hodejegerne'), the central character of Roger Brown being played by Aksel Hennie didn't sit well with me. For the first 5 minutes of his screen time all I saw was an albino midget (of which he is neither!) trying to kid me into believing he could run a big company, etc.
But then when I saw his con at play, well, I suddenly became a fan of Mr. Brown and wished him well as things, well, let's just say unraveled before him! Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the mercenery Clas Greve, who so needs the job that Mr. Brown is never going to give him to keep his own big company afloat is sinister enough from the onset. But when he turns to the dark side, I have to say would anyone go to these corporate lengths to secure a high ranking position?!
I don't think so, truly, no - but the fact that the second half of the movie steps the pace up x5 is an amazing tribute to the director. Some of the scenes in the latter half of the film are just incredible - and for two different reasons. The first is an outhouse scene that has to be seen to be believed, the second is an incredible cliff side car crash that is breathtakingly filmed.
As Mr. Brown says, "If you don't gamble, you can't win," which is kind of the running theme here as he is seen to gamble with his wife, his job, his friends, and even his own life come the end. The first half of the movie plays out with a serious tone attached, whereas the latter half is a very dark comedy, for sure. And the end is one mother of a well thought out, well created twist that I never saw coming - and until it plays out, I hope you don't either!