Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters is a film that, at first, appears to bring the viewer on a ride filled with twist and turns, but ironically allows those twists to become a bit of a problem for the film itself. Will other viewers perceive the film differently than what was brought to my expectations? There’s certainly a case to be made regarding how certain scenes are played up for the viewers, but unfortunately for this reviewer, my stance toward the film seems pretty assured.
For one thing, Headhunters is certainly not a bad film. The opening act that brings the film towards the forefront of intrigue and deception is handled swiftly and with a solid grace. The players are established, the story is laid out, and then the fun begins. The problem with the film is that while the fun certainly packs a punch in the first half of the film, there’s that inkling that everything is pretty noticeable at face value and whatever parlor tricks that the film’s screenwriters are throwing our way, they soon start to become a bit lazy. This brings about the film’s problems in a much more apparent, and a bit of a annoying way. It brings the stakes down a bit, and everything starts to become so susceptible that it borders on “very predictable scale”.
Thankfully, the actors that are on hand handle the flimsy plot with a great deal of grace and panache. Aksel Hennie is very solid as the flawed Roger Brown, the protagonist who makes up his short physical stature through his job as a headhunter, and also moonlighting as an art thief. It’s that second job on the side that soon gets him into the dangerous game that the film plays up, as that “one big job” comes to become more than Roger bargained for. The character of Roger Brown can easily become detestable to the viewer, but Hennie certainly has the charisma and desperation to have the viewer on his side, despite the questionable acts that he does.
Along with Hennie, there is also Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the enigmatic Clas Greve, a powerful businessman that comes under the eye for Brown’s penchant for robbery. Waldau is mostly familiar, at least for this reviewer, as the boastful and deadly Jamie Lannister on the HBO show Game of Thrones, and Waldau certainly brings that venomous, yet charismatic quality to the character of Clas. He’s has that aura that he knows what the other person is up to, but puts up a classy demeanor to hide the ulterior motives that he has going on in his head.
Yes, the actors certainly elevate the film’s ongoing proceedings, which is a shame that the film’s ongoing plot doesn’t keep up with them. Mortem Tyldum directs the film amicably, but the script feels like it’s bleeding out the next big reveal through obvious clues from the get-go of the film. Like it was said previously in the review, perhaps certain moviegoers will not mind this, but it sort of ruins the wild ride that the first big twist brings to the film.
Headhunters is a pretty solid action thriller, doused in ingredients that are so obvious that don’t mix together to bring that unpredictable flavor, resulting in a bit of a disappointment. Check it out if you’re interested though, perhaps you’ll enjoy the meal more than I did.