Headhunters (2011)

Headhunters (2011)
Headhunters (2011) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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There’s been an upswing in Scandinavian directors using crime thrillers as a springboard into Hollywood.  The original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo did it for Niels Arden Oplev (Dead Man Down), Easy Money did it for Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), and Contraband did the same trick for Baltasar Kormakur.

Contraband-Main-Review

To the extent remaking your own flick qualifies

The latest director looking to join the club is Morten Tyldum, who’s been a hot name in Tinseltown ever since Headhunters dominated European box offices.  Headhunters follows the oddly named Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie), a corporate headhunter, art thief on the side, and generally oily d-bag as his latest caper puts him on the wrong side of ex-mercenary turned corporate surveillance expert Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).  Now on the run, and unsure of who to trust, including his trophy wife, mistress, or gun nut partner in crime, life’s gonna get a bit more inconvenient for ‘ol Roger.

A Toast

“Well, that goes to shit fast.”  That’s exactly what I wrote in the notes I jotted down as I watched the film.  Headhunters has a propulsive pace that refuses to let up, with ample plot twists and crazy surprises to keep you on your twos.  The tension in some scenes is incredible, and it’s always nice to spot a plot hole, then have the film fill it in later on.  What I’m saying is, Headhunters is (generally) smarter than your average bear.

Tyldum’s main contribution is his excellent handle on pacing, but he slips some quality shots in as well.  The entire cast does a good job with the material, but it’s the incredibly skeezy performance from Hennie that really shines, and gets increasingly better as his character goes through one hell of an arc.

hennie1

From Steve Buscemi and James Spader’s lovechild all the way to…

headhunters-04

Kevin Bacon in Death Sentence?

Beer Two

This film has a bizarre, twisted sense of humor.  That’s not always a bad thing, but sometimes the ridiculousness strays a bit over the top.  Like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum cops over the top.  Or “He smeared transmitters in my hair!!!” over the top.  Or dog-carcass-jangling-from-tractor-tines-during-high-speed-chase over the top.  Some of it works, but it sends the tone of the movie veering to and fro worse than a drunk 85 year old Asian woman behind the wheel.

bowing

Yes, I was trying to offend as many people as possible with that one. *Bows*

Beer Three

Remember that (generally) from earlier?  Well, unfortunately Headhunters falls down the well of convenient plotting, which is especially disappointing since it does so well tiptoeing around its edge for the rest of the movie.  Especially one scene, where Greve is relentlessly tracking down Brown with his dog, then just up and disappears for some reason even while Brown is noisily dispatching said dog and escaping on a tractor.  Where’d he go?  Was he hiding?

lannister

Jamie Lannister don’t play that shit.

Verdict

3beers

An enjoyably overstuffed Scandinavian crime thriller that will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: whenever you start feeling oily just watching Aksel Hennie act

Take a Drink: for every double cross

Take a Drink: for every instance of nudity

Take a Drink: whenever Coster-Waldau makes a Jamie Lannister face

Do a Shot: whenever shits goes down- you’ll know what I mean

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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