Star rating – 3/10
I think I have just been cured of a near addiction to Scandinavian crime thrillers. After the pure pleasure of The Killing on TV, and the thrills of both film versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, even if they could not quite match the brilliance of the original Larsson novels, I was expecting much more from the adaptation of the Jo Nesbo book Headhunters. To put it mildly...
So, should I start with the clunky, unbelievable plot? Or with the wooden acting? Or with the totally predictable ‘thrills’, accompanied by unnecessary gratuitous violence and gore? You get the picture. Roger is an unappealing character – a Norwegian executive headhunter, who supplements his income with a bit of high end art theft on the side. Apparently he feels he has to do this to keep his tall blonde girlfriend in the lap of luxury, but all she seems to want is to settle down and have a family.
He comes a cropper when he messes with the Dutch CEO of a espionage technology company – which is lucky, as it makes for a readymade plot revolving around shootings, hidden tracking devices, and the protagonists stopping at nothing to get what they need. And lots of blood and brutality.
Not one of the characters has any redeeming features to make it worthwhile caring what happens to them. Aksel Hennie as Roger has to wear a ridiculous bouffant hairstyle for most of the time – if it’s not a wig then it’s just very bad hair. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the Dutch baddie looks like he just stepped off an Armani ad – like a very smooth, younger version of Sean Bean with razor sharp cheekbones to boot. The story is ridiculous, and I’m not clear if it is a bad adaption of a good book, or if both are equally stupid. I haven’t read the novel, and am not likely to after this waste of a potentially good couple hours of my life that I will never get back. I’ll get off the fence now.