Saturday, 7 April 2012


Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is a top headhunter, working in Olso but he has a secret. He uses the information her gains from interviewing clients to break into their homes and steal expensive artwork which he then sells through back channels in Sweden. Brown thinks he has come across the heist of a lifetime when he learns that a long lost Rubens has been sitting in an Oslo apartment since the Second World War but he gets much more than he bargained for when it transpires that he picked the wrong target to mess with.

With the success of the likes of The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, Borgen and The Killing in recent years, it was only a matter of time before a Jo Nesbo novel was adapted for the big screen. I am currently reading a different Nesbo novel as I write this (though not at this very second) and am really enjoying it. This film captures the tone and style of Nesbo which will delight his hordes of fans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his Harry Hole series adapted in the near future.

The film is a true thriller which had me on the edge of my seat. The first half is mostly a tense heist type of story with the second half being mostly one huge chase with a few rest bites thrown in to give those sweaty palms a break. The story is complex and interesting and made the film feel longer to me that it actually was. This isn’t a bad way however and I’d happily have watched for another half an hour. The film and its lead character are very clever and this should excite the audience and leave them thoroughly satisfied.

The acting from Hennie is superb. He shows great depth and cunning as well as despair and heartbreak. It’s a career performance from him. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, best known as Jamie Lanninster from Game of Thrones to English speaking audiences is also excellent opposite Hennie. The two have a real duel in terms of the action and the acting. Coster-Waldau is impossibly cool and suits his role to a tee. Every main character is given a fair amount of back story which really helps to give them their identity and drive.

Unsurprisingly a Hollywood remake is already in the works but I’d recommend seeing the original as I can’t see how having Mark Whalberg and Kiefer Sutherland or someone similar will improve the film. It’s just an excuse for lazy people not to have to read and for Hollywood studios to make money without doing anything original.

This film is smart, witty and original and even has a love story at its centre. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It is only the second Norwegian film I’ve seen, with Troll Hunter being the first, but if they’re all as good as these two, I can’t wait to watch my third.



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