Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters: the movie

Posted: August 25, 2012 in films, Norway

I watched the movie Headhunters, based on the book by Jo Nesbo, last night and really enjoyed it.

Perhaps you have to be 1.68m to really appreciate the story of Roger Brown, a short recruitment consultant  who moonlights as an art thief ;-).

Roger’s gorgeous statuesque blonde wife Diana is much taller than him and an expert in art history. The insecure Roger feels he needs to provide her with luxuries, and support her new gallery in order to ward off the predatory taller males that she naturally attracts. Trouble arises when handsome Clas Greve, ex-mercenary and former CEO of a major military  contractor who is currently between jobs, attends an exhibition at Diana’s gallery and Roger learns that Clas has a valuable painting in his apartment.

The action and excitement then accelerate with a rising body count and some typical Nesbo twists and turns to keep viewers guessing. At times you have to suspend disbelief  especially when Roger is squeezed between two enormously fat policemen in a vehicle that goes off the road, but this movie is a fun thriller not a work of art. 

Headhunters is a Scandinavian thriller with no pretensions to movie greatness, but it does have some memorable set pieces, and  interesting over the top acting performances.  

It will be fascinating to read the book in a few weeks and compare it with the movie.   

  1. Maxine says:

    Sounds fun. I liked the book, but one should not take it too seriously, I think. Nesbo obviously fancied a bit of a change and he gave all the proceeds to charity. Although the book is not a bit like the Harry Hole books, as usual the reader has to pay close attention to the clues to get the solution before all is revealed, though!

  2. Norman Price says:

    Maxine, after watching this movie I suggested Mrs Crimescraps [another expert in art history] might like to wear high heels to tower over me. But we decided that after 30 years in flats she might fall over. 😉

  3. Margot Kinberg says:

    Norman – I’m very glad you enjoyed the movie. It sounds as though it was good fun. And when it comes to high heels, I’m with Mrs. Crime Scraps. Haven’t worn them regularly in a long time and I like it that way. 😉

  4. Dan says:

    I did not care for the book. It felt cold–the author demonstrated little concern for his characters–he was committed to an idea.

    Some wonderful Nesbo sleight-of-hand in this story, but most of his herrings smelled early, and it was impossible to care about the “protagonist.” He was basically a narcissistic sociopath, but just a little stupid.

  5. […] is quite something, given the bleak outlook of our screens now-a-days. I fully agree with Norman at Crime Scraps Review: ‘Headhunters is a Scandinavian thriller with no pretensions to movie greatness, but it does have […]

  6. I think some of the comments are a little harsh, given that it is hard for Nesbo to publish anything without Harry Hole. I don’t think it was as good as the usual Nesbo fare, but it was not altogether bad. I was glad that th movie makers did not leave out the outhouse scene, even though they left out a special detail from the book. Those who read the book, will know what I meant!!!

  7. Norman Price says:

    Now I will have to read the book!

  8. Maxine says:

    Oh yes, I know just what you mean, I am amazed that they managed to include that scene! (Norman, a clue, there is a similar hiding place in Karin Fossum’s just-translated In The Darkness). I agree that Headhunters has been judged rather harshly, I think Nesbo wrote it as a bit of fun, almost as a spoof on that particular noir “anti-hero on the plummet into darkness” subgenre & thought it worked well if one did not take it too seriously. Agree the main character is unlikeable but I didn’t mind that, not least because of what he had to go through as a result of his not-very-niceness. The part of the book I thought most implausible was the hair gel subplot but not sure if that was in the film.

  9. Norman Price says:

    Maxine there was something about hair in the film. [Trying to avoid spoiler ;-)]

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