An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.
Directed by Morten Tyldum
Initial Review by Phil Crone
A good heist movie also needs a good villain. Enter Clas, played by Jamie Lannister (99% sure that’s his real name). Clas is a bit of an unbelievable “Bond villain” character, being a shrewd business man, a merciless trained killer, and a lothario all rolled into one. His character felt like it should have been two people. That said, he makes for a good villain who knows Roger better than himself. This becomes an interesting heist movie because all of the meticulous planning was actually done by the villain. Clas’s heist is the company Roger is hiring for, and Clas plants everything perfectly to get himself the job. I have to admit that it seemed almost too much overkill. Clas doesn’t just want the job; he wants to completely destroy Roger as well, as Roger is the only one who really stands in the way of Clas executing his plan. I assume this was just a failsafe in case Clas could not convince Roger in the interview process, which he correctly deduced would be the case.
Regardless of motivations, it sets off an exciting plot with actions and reactions the results of characters, not events. This was something that I recall Kissel liking about Mad Max Fury Road, and we see it here as well. Clas’s arrival and Roger’s desperation ultimately set the wheels into motion, and everything that happens is the result of either of them causing the event to occur.
It all inevitably leads to the big showdown in Ove’s house (trailer?). It’s a solid sequence that pulls every little random piece from the movie together into one satisfying conclusion. Roger’s relationship with Lotte, Lotte’s betrayal, Diana’s relationship with Clas and ultimate reconciliation with Roger, Ove’s gun & amateur film making, and the deaths of every other character up to this point are brought together and ultimately pinned squarely on Clas, the instigator of this entire situation to begin with. It’s a sequence that shows Roger’s ingenuity and harkens back to Roger’s initial warning of it all ending with either one big score or getting caught. Typical heist movies end with it all coming together in the big score; Headhunters ends with it all coming together in the other aspect of not getting caught.
Headhunters is a different and well-executed take on the Heist genre. Roger is one of the more interesting protagonists in a movie like this, and while a bit unbelievable as a person who could ever exist, Clas makes for a solid villain. It’s a solid action movie with a good message in the end of recognizing the importance of knowing what makes your partner happy in a relationship.
+ Interesting take on the heist genre
+ Roger & Clas are well-matched
+ Final sequence is well-done and satisfying conclusion
- Clas is just an unbelievable character
- Not mentioned in the review, but Lotte seems wildly stupid