Headhunters on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review


Headhunters stars Aksel Hennie as Roger Brown, a man who, by day, is a headhunter, seeking only the very best man for the top jobs and builds people’s reputations, while by night, breaks into rich people’s houses and steals expensive artworks, replacing them with forgeries, and he says even those which aren’t the greatest won’t get discovered for weeks.

His other trick is not to take any longer than ten minutes in each house, as every additional minute spent there, is an additional minute in which he could be spotted.

Roger is also a very confident man with a very beautiful, blonde wife, Diana (Synnøve Macody Lund), who’s taller than him. Roger is 5’6, and is not sure whether he wishes he was taller, but when it comes to the woman in his life, he knows he’s clearly punching above his weight. He knows she likes the finer things, so he steals to fund his expensive lifestyle, buying her everything she wants and they live in a house worth 30 million kroner (around £3.1m), which he doesn’t like, but it keeps her happy.

What would also makes her happy is for him to give her a child, but this isn’t what he wants at all. In fact, at times he shows he can be rather selfish by the fact he plays away from home with other women, currently in the form of Lotte (Julie Ølgaard).

Roger also tells us, early on, that what he does will only end in one of two ways – either he’ll come across an artwork which will make him so rich that it will give him the reason to stop doing what he does, or… he’ll get caught… And then along comes an artwork belonging to GPS technology guru Clas Gleve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), which is worth around 100m kroner.

In order to get it, as always, he’ll enlist the help of best friend Ove Kjikerud (Eivind Sander), who he installed at a security firm to let him in, then delete the logs to show he was ever there.

Now, from that, it may not sound like a film worthy of 100 minutes of your time, but the problem I have with reviewing it is that Headhunters has got twists and turns that you don’t see coming, none of which I can describe here.

Just take it from me that we have a new engaging star in Aksel Hennie. Well, I say new, but he’s been making films for over 10 years. However, what I did notice instantly is that he is the spitting image of a young Christopher Walken, so if they ever need someone to star in a film about his life, Aksel is the man. Similarly, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, as Clas Greve, looks similar to Aaron Eckhart.

Also, I know we’ve been blessed with great foreign drama on TV recently, my favourites being Braquo and The Bridge so you’re thinking the bubble has to burst at some point. Well, it hasn’t with this. This is 100 minutes of great acting, writing and directing, and while I hadn’t heard of Jo Nesbø before this,

I recently also saw the trailer for Jackpot, given a UK cinema release on August 10th, and looks like another triumph.

As I type, there are elements about it which remind me of another film, an American one, but for the life of me I can’t think which one.

Presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, the picture never looks anything other than crisp and claer, but don’t expect too colourful a landscape in this dramatic tale. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 37″ Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.

The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, for which I got the 5.1 DTS version, and it’s mostly used for dialogue and ambience, but occasionally gets a slight workout, but I won’t say why as to avoid spoilers. What I will say, is that while there’s an English-dubbed version, it’s done with terrible American accents so give that a wide berth.

The extras are as follows:

  • Behind Headhunters (22:39): Chat from all the key cast and crew, interspersed with clips from the film. Early on, director Morten Tyldum says that even if he gets bad reviews, he’ll still want to continue working in the movie industry. Well, if he continues to make fantastic thriller like this, he’ll never get any bad reviews.

    And how exactly did they shoot that car off a cliff into the ravine? By following the ‘Car Darts’ technique from BBC2’s Top Gear.

  • Trailer (1:28): In 2.35:1, and it gives away some things but leaves ambiguity in others. I couldn’t find this one online, so here’s a slightly longer one, albeit in 16:9:

The menu features brief snatches of the film, interlaced together. There are subtitles in English only and the total number of chapters is a lame 12. Why are Momentum doing the same as Optimum? Give us more!

Another of my bug-bears also comes up with this disc as it’s another case of putting trailers before the main menu, like a rental video from the 80s. Why do they do this? They should be in the extras menu – the trailers at least, and nowhere else. You pay for the disc and you don’t need extra advertisements as if you’re in the cinema.

Headhunters is released on August 13th on Blu-ray and DVD.


Detailed specs:

Running time: 100 minutes
Year: 2011
Cat no: MP1160BRR0
Distributor: Momentum Pictures
Released: August 13th 2012
Chapters: 12
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: Norwegian, English dubbing
Subtitles: English
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Super 35)
Disc Format: BD50

Director: Morten Tyldum
Producers: Marianne Gray and Asle Vatn
Screenplay: Lars Gudmestad and Ulf Ryberg (from the novel by Jo Nesbø)
Music: Trond Bjerknes and Jeppe Kaas

Roger Brown: Aksel Hennie
Clas Greve: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Diana Brown: Synnøve Macody Lund
Ove Kjikerud: Eivind Sander
Lotte: Julie Ølgaard
Jeremias Lander: Kyrre Haugen Sydness
Brede Sperre: Reidar Sørensen