Headhunters (Hodejegerne, 2011) was based on one of his novels and Jackpot (Arme Riderre, 2011) on an original idea for the screen. The latter, directed by Magnus Martens, now arrives on DVD from Metrodome Distribution. Retaining the crime elements for which the author is known, this blackly comic effort is something of a damp squib.
Peculiar police inspector, Solør (Henrik Mestad), arrives in a sordid sex shop-come-strip club full of bloodied bodies, bullets in the wall and a lone man waking up beneath the corpse of a stripper with a shotgun in hand. That man, Oscar Svendson (Kyrre Hellum), is hauled in to relay the events leading up to the x-rated massacre. His statement asserts that he and three colleagues, all of whom were ex-cons, won just under two million krone on an accumulator football bet. Crooks being crooks, a four-way split isn't ideal and blood is soon spilt while individual shares begin to grow.
Jackpot looks to combine continued farce with offbeat characters and gross-out humour drenched in blood. Some of these moments do enough to raise a smile or the occasional chortle, but they largely fall flat.
The banter is not helped by a drab script and a cast of characters that features nobody likeable for the audience to get behind. The same accusations can be levelled at Nesbø's Headhunters but comparatively, the lead in that film is entirely sympathetic. This means that much that may have been funny is not, and that it is difficult to find any hook with which to create tension and suspense.
All this leaves the plot as the factor which needs to elevate the film, but regrettably, it hardly does. Featuring a recognisable plot device which always seems to wind up the same way, Jackpot's ending is obvious from ten minutes in and the twists and turns along the way manage to divert but never truly enthral. Oh, for a screenplay more wit and significantly more cunning. As it stands, a severed thumb in the eye is about as good as it gets.
Win a DVD copy of Jackpot with our new competition. Follow this link to enter.
Film of the Week
★★★★☆ We all love a Disney movie. Many childhoods have been warmed by their glow and generations are defined by what set of Disney char...
★★★☆☆ André Øvredal burst onto the scene with the irresistibly enjoyable Trollhunter in 2010, a mockumentary road trip humorously po...
★★★★☆ For all of the great opportunities that film festivals give to explore the cinema of other cultures, it's always worth ...
★★★☆☆ Following his 2010 documentary Reminiscences , director Juan Daniel F. Molero returns for a challenging and visually impressive...
★★★★★ Matched only by the Coen brothers and Tim Burton for inimitable style, Wes Anderson remains one of the most interesting and idi...
★★★☆☆ Since Donald Trump won the US Presidential election there's been a whole smorgasbord of geo-political anxieties to keep you aw...