Headhunters (Hoderjegerne) (2011)

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Released 12-Jul-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Featurette-Making Of-Behind Headhunters
Trailer-x 3 but none of this film
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 96:05
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (43:32) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Morten Tyldum

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Aksel Hennie
Synnøve Macody Lund
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Julie R. Ølgaard
Kyrre Haugen Sydness
Reidar Sørensen
Nils Jørgen Kaalstad
Joachim Rafaelsen
Gunnar Skramstad Johnsen
Case ?
RPI ? Music Trond Bjerknes
Jeppe Kaas

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Norwegian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Norwegian Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) works as a Headhunter, recruiting executives for successful businesses. He has an expensive house, an expensive car, a pretty mistress Lotte (Julie Olgaard) and an expensive beautiful blonde wife Diana (Synnove Macody Lund) who runs her own art gallery. Roger is in debt and is being pressured by Diana for them to have a child, something he is very reluctant to agree to.

     To maintain his expensive lifestyle, Roger is an art thief, working with security guard Ove (Eivind Sander). Roger finds out when people who own original artworks are not home and Ove turns off the security alarms and fences the stolen art out of the country. But the profits are not great and Roger is looking for that one piece that will make their fortune. At a gallery opening Roger is introduced to Clas Greve (Nikolai Coster-Waldau). Clas is an ex-special forces soldier who retired from the army and made a fortune for a Danish company improving miniature GPS tracking devices. He also just happens to own a priceless painting by Rubens! Roger believes that this is his big break and decides to steal the painting. In the course of the robbery, however, he discovers that Clas and Diana are having an affair. From then on the game for Roger changes into something else entirely – a fight for survival, for it seems that Clas has a hidden agenda of his own, and is not above murder to achieve it.

     Headhunters (original title Hodejegerne) is a fine Norwegian thriller based on a book by Jo Nesbo. It has a great set up, a number of plot twists and is quite gory and bloody in parts. However, the film is well served by its main stars, especially Aksel Hennie who obviously gave his all for the project, finding himself in very smelly situations. Danish born Nikolai Coster-Waldau (who was shooting this film at the same time as his role in Game of Thrones) brings a nice blend of charm and menace to his character but perhaps the surprise is Synnove Macody Lund, who is apparently a journalist not an actress, but who acquits herself with distinction.

     Headhunters was shot on a small budget compared to Hollywood thrillers but perhaps because of this is not overblown, with explosions and action sequences for their own sake. While Headhunters does include some excellent action sequences it is principally a fine character driven thriller with a tight script, a number of twists, tension and a good cast. Apparently the rights have already been sold for an American remake. Catch the original; you will not be disappointed.

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Transfer Quality


     Headhunters is presented in a ratio of 2.40:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The original ratio was 2.35:1.

     The print is good, although not one to show off your system. Detail is fine, colours are natural but tend to the dull side. Brightness seemed a little on the light side, noticeable in some sequences with the light source behind the actors and in some of the skin tones. Blacks and shadow detail is fine. Marks are absent, although the film did evince a little grain and the occasional motion blur and aliasing, especially against some vertical surfaces, such as at 40:17. However, it was minor and not distracting.

     There are burnt in English subtitles. They are in a clear white font and contained no obvious spelling or grammatical errors. Although my Norwegian is non-existent, there did appear to be dialogue sentences that the subtitles omitted.

    The layer chance at 43:32 resulted in a slight pause on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is a choice of Norwegian Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps or Norwegian Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps.

     The 5.1 audio track is good with a nice enveloping feel. It is not aggressive but dialogue is clear and the surrounds used mainly for music, although they give decent support, for example, to the truck engine in the crash sequence. Gunshots have a nice depth. The sub-woofer is not overused, but adds bass when required.

     The original music by Trond Bjerknes and Jeppe Kaas, plus additional songs, did not bring attention to itself but provided effective support to the visuals.

     Lip synchronisation was good.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



     Trailers play on start-up and need to be skipped: Dark Shadows (2:21), Chernobyl Diaries (2:20) and Friends with Kids (2:25).

Behind Headhunters (21:44)

     A reasonably interesting look at the filming of Headhunters including the characters, motivations, casting, stunts. It features film footage, behind the scenes footage and interviews with crew Morten Tyldum (director), John Andreas Andersen (cinematographer), Asle Vatn, Marianne Gray (producers) and Lars Gudmestad (screenwriter) plus cast Aksel Hennie, Nikolai Coster-Waldau, Synnove Macody Lund and Eivind Sander. They are an enthusiastic lot and make it sound interesting. In Norwegian with burnt in white English subtitles.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 2 UK version is due to be released 13/8/12; it is listed as having an aspect ratio of 1.77:1 and no details of extras are available. There is currently not a Region 1 US release listed. Buy local.


     Headhunters is a fine Norwegian character driven thriller with a tight script, twists, tension, action and a good cast. It is well worth a look before the American remake.

     The video and audio are fine, the extra worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Film comment but not a spoiler - cztery