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Non-Review Review: Jo Nesbø’s Headhunters

While Jo Nesbø’s Headhunters might get a little bit too crazy and twisty in its final third, but it’s a brilliantly dark Norwegian thriller/comedy, headlined with considerable style by Aksel Hennie as corporate recruitment expert Roger Brown, a sleazy yuppie living well beyond his means to keep his wife in the style two which she has become accustomed. As the movie puts Brown through a sequence of painful and humiliating encounters, it is consistently entertaining, managing to walk the fine line between making sure we dislike Roger enough to be amused by his misfortune, but invested enough that we want to see the little (“1.68 metres”) bugger manage to escape the movie relatively intact.

Got milk?

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Non-Review Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

I will confess that I’m not a huge fan of the original Swedish adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It was just too bleak, with every male character existing as some form of sexual predator, shot against a drab grey backdrop and with nothing but unrelenting cynicism to propel it. I don’t want to describe David Fincher’s version as “softer” – there are still any number of scenes that will have viewers squirming in their seats – so perhaps “smoother” or “rounded” represents a better choice of adjective. While there are still some pacing issues in the last third, Fincher succeeds in adapting the best-selling book in a fashion that makes it just as fascinating as it is grim.

Opening a cold case...

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Non-Review Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a decently-made little thriller. It’s interesting that David Fincher has been selected to helm the inevitable English-language remake of the film, as it feels like a spiritual companion to se7en. While that Fincher thriller concerned itself with a broken world populated with seven flavours of deadly sin, this Swedish film is only really interested in one. It’s a brutal commentary on what it suggests is a harsh and repressively misogynistic society, one that victimises and commoditises women. However, it veers a little bit too far into sensationalist territory – fixated on the idea that men in positions of authority are inevitably sexual sadists – and its contents make for excedingly grim viewing.

Never quite gripping...

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