Friday, July 6, 2012

Headhunters (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway 

Hodejegerne / Headhunters

For those of you who care not a whit for superheroes, aliens or the corduroy streets of Rome, there is an edge- of-your-seat thriller now playing that will not disappoint.  "Headhunters" a new film by Morten Tyldum.

The film focuses on Roger Brown, (Askel Henne) a corporate exec who moonlights as an art thief to acquire as much money as possible. Roger is an icy fox with sleepy eyes. He suffers from feelings of inadequacy and is plagued by thoughts of his wife leaving him even though their are no concrete reasons. He  detests his short stature. Thinking his wife, a tall Amazon, (Sonnove Macody Lunde) is materialistic, Roger overspends by the hundreds of thousands. He learns of a priceless Rubens and resolves to steal it. 

Askel Henne is wonderful in his role. He is more nervous and shifty than Christopher Walken and packs more punch than Daniel Craig--he is virulently compelling. Rather than being a pock-marked brute, Henne is somnambulant and anemic, yet his lethargy is a front. Roger Brown attacks like a rabid wraith. Nothing can stop him.

Brown thinks all is well when the stubbled and dashing Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) enters the scene to mess things up. Roger's male ego steams as he learns his insecurities might indeed be valid. What follows is a visceral violet-blooded cat and mouse chase that has to be seen to be believed. The action is nonstop and this film makes Lisbeth Salander into a withering bookworm by comparison. Roger Brown emerges as an upside down Jason Bourne. He drinks blood for breakfast. Roger has more in common with Vlad the Impaler than John Dillinger. The temperature of humanity does not seem to liquefy him. He is made of ice. Only his wife gets under his amphibious skin.

The twists of "Headhunters" are unparalleled. I unapologetically  admit that I enjoyed this film more than "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" precisely because it sneaks up on you without pretense or preconceptions. You won't see many pop culture teasers for "Headhunters". This is a blood and bones thriller with all the jagged edges. This is Stieg Larsson on crystal meth and there is even an ample dose of Albert Camus within the carnage. This is a must see for existentialists and crime-seekers alike. And through it all we see the spaced out wistfulness of a strange wormlike man, who is bruised and battered--- one envious Roger Brown---who ultimately bears a striking resemblance to the great German actor Klaus Kinski in all his chaotic pathology.

On the net there is chatter that "Headhunters" is spawning a Hollywood remake. One wishes for Roger Brown to convince the producers otherwise. Don't pull any punches or sell yourself short, run to see "Headhunters" before it becomes replicated and replaced by its digital twin. 

There is simply no substitute for Norwegian blood spilled for the first time.

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