Roger Brown has a pretty good life. By day, he’s a corporate recruiter (headhunter) who goes home at night to a magnificent house and stunning wife. Unfortunately, Roger’s insecurities (he’s only 5’6”) lead him to seek a lifestyle well beyond his means. How does he make up the difference between his income and expenses? High-priced art theft, of course.
Such is the premise of “Headhunters,” a terrific Norwegian film that follows up its run at the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival with a general release via Landmark Theatres. The film garnered quite a lot of buzz at the Festival and, after a recent screening, it’s easy to see why. A mixture of crime/heist drama, action/suspense thriller, and love story, it’s what the 1999 version of “The Thomas Crown Affair” might have looked like if it had been directed by Sam Peckinpah.
Brown, played by Aksel Hennie, is looking for one big score to settle him for life. Circumstances bring that possibility to him, but things are not what they seem. Things go wrong – very, very wrong – and Roger finds himself in deep, deep shit (literally as well as figuratively.) To say much more would spoil the intricate plot (I’ll leave that to the trailer,) but suffice it to say you should just sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride. This film has more twists and turns than a fjord-side road.
Fast paced and extremely violent in spots, this film is not for the squeamish. If you can get through a little (well, a lot) of body mutilation, high impact body trauma and the occasional spearing, you’ll find yourself enjoying (yes, I said it – enjoying) a cinematic thrill ride that puts its American counterparts (see Ocean’s Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen, etc.) to shame.
Catch it before the typical half-assed American remake appears…
“Headhunters” is playing at Landmark’s Clay Theatre in San Francisco, Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley, and Piedmont Theatre in Oakland. Check your local theatre listings.