Movie review: 'Headhunters'

Posted: May 04, 2012

Headhunters

* **1/2

Directed by Morten Tyldum. With Aksel Hennie, Synnove Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Distributed by Magnolia Pictures. 1 hr. 50 R (violence, sex, nudity). In Norwegian and Danish with subtitles. Playing at: Ritz at the Bourse.

The cold-blooded, smartest-guy-in-the-room predator is a staple of the modern thriller.

But rarely has one been unmasked so thoroughly and delightfully as in the Norwegian movie Headhunters, a sensation in Europe, a hit at Toronto, and already being remade in Hollywood.

Now's your chance to see the original with Aksel Hennie as Roger Brown, identified in the opening credits as a fellow who makes his big money in the art-forgery racket.

By day, Brown is a corporate headhunter, and the movie wins you over right away with a cleverly written scene that shows him playing mind games with a job candidate - funny in and of itself, but brilliant for the way it gives meaning to subsequent scenes.

The prologue ends with Roger on a smug, master-of-the-universe high, even taking pleasure in the casually cruel way he dismisses the dream of his gorgeous wife (Symnove Macody Lund) to have children.

And he is the center of attention until he meets Clas ( Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) the sought-after former head of a German technology firm. The two are soon engaged in a high-stakes war of wits, the details of which are best left to Headhunters.

Director Morten Tyldum finds the right, tricky tone - as the movie grows increasingly violent, it manages to be both hair-raising and darkly funny.

- Gary Thompson,

The Daily News

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