“I’m Roger Brown, and I’m 5’6″ tall.” “Hodejegerne,” Jo Nesbø’s best-selling 2008 novel, provides the genetic material for a clever, high-energy, heist-chase thriller. Self-aware, self-assured sociopath Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie), a corporate recruiter living beyond his means and on both sides of the law, is matched by director Morten Tyldum’s sleek, chilly visual style, embracing contemporary Oslo with just the right, slight nudge of satire. The striver with the too-tall, too-beautiful wife has much to prove, and often proves it with bold, calibrated art robberies, replacing valuable art in clients’ homes with just-good-enough forgeries (including an Edvard Munch drawing). There’s relentless tick-tock in the plot’s logic, yet satisfying payback with the escalation of machine-gunning, shit-flung, bloody mayhem as Brown’s complex schemes go awry. The terrific Hennie serves up an ideal antihero-turned-man-on-the-run performance. He’s a Scream. With Synnove Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. 105m. Widescreen. (Ray Pride)
“Headhunters” opens Friday at Landmark Century.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.