Review: ‘Headhunter’

A perfectly serviceable if uninspiring Danish drama.

A perfectly serviceable if uninspiring Danish drama in the tradition of “King’s Game” and other Scandi thrillers, “Headhunter” at least feels somewhat timely with its on-trend portrait of corporate bigwigs as sinister, Machiavellian no-goodniks. Writer-helmer Rumle Hammerich, best known for his local TV work and feature “Young Andersen,” throws in enough plot twists to maintain interest. However, underlying plausibility issues and the pic’s generally made-for-TV look will make recruiting auds offshore more of a challenge, despite domestic B.O. success since the pic’s September, 2009 bow.

Martin Vinge (Lars Mikkelsen, “Flame and Citron”) is a former journalist but now topnotch headhunter who specializes in discreetly persuading CEOs to jump ship to new companies. When aging tycoon Niels Sieger (Henning Moritzen) asks Vinge to find a successor so Sieger can shaft his untrustworthy son and expected heir, Daniel (Flemming Enevold), Vinge lines up three candidates. But nothing is as it seems here. With its wintry-hued, widescreen lensing and expensive set dressing, the pic looks sleek, but falters with its silly third-act reveals. It doesn’t help that small-eyed, strong-jawed star Mikkelsen lacks the charisma or range of his brother, the better-known Mads Mikkelsen.




A Nordisk Film production, in association with the Danish Film Institute, DK TV2/Danmark. (International sales: Nordisk Film Distribution, Hvidovre.) Produced by Ake Sandgren. Executive producer, Kim Magnusson. Directed, written by Rumle Hammerich.


Camera (color, widescreen), Dan Laustsen; editors, Henrik Vincent Thiesen, Camila Skousen; production designer, Peter de Neergaard; set decorator, Mathias Hassing; costume designer, Louize Nissen. Reviewed at London Film Festival (Cinema Europa), Oct. 20, 2009. Danish dialogue. Running time: 108 MIN.


Lars Mikkelsen, Flemming Enevold, Henrik Vincent Thiesen, Henning Moritzen, Charlotte Fich, Charlotte Munck.

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