Nesbø is best known for his gritty detective Harry Hole, but film adaptations
of his work have largely focused on the criminal and the compromised. Just as Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters begins its American theatrical run here in New York, Magnus
Martens’ even better and bloodier Jackpot
tonight as part of the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.
Svendsen is not a criminal, but the artificial Christmas tree factory he works
at specializes in hiring released convicts.
According to the detective interrogating him, this means he is used to
thinking like a crook. Be that as it
may, Svendsen certainly has some explaining to do, such as how he came to be
found clutching a shotgun beneath a rather large dead woman, amid a bloodbath
at a strip club. Let the flashback carnage
Svendsen agreed to enter a betting pool with three of his scariest
co-workers. Against all the odds, their
dubious betting system produces a twelve-game winning ticket. Everyone should be happy, but when Svendsen
returns to his apartment, he finds a dead body.
Supposedly, their late colleague got greedy and attacked the other two,
who killed him in self-defense. Or so
they tell Svendsen. True or not, there
is a corpse to dispose of. This will get
messy. Not for nothing, Svendsen wonders
if he will be next.
on a Nesbø story, Jackpot is a lot
like early Coen Brothers, but with a greater body count. Evidently, the process for fabricating fake
Christmas trees is a lot like sausage-making, so you know what that means. The pieces are sent flying almost as fast and
furiously as the constant double-crosses.
Indeed, Martens is not exactly shy in his approach to the material, but
he keeps a tight rein on the narrative, never letting the proceedings descend
into absolute bedlam.
Svendsen, the game but unassuming Kyrre Hellum resembles a rag doll being
tossed about. However, that works rather
well in the context of the film. In
contrast, Henrik Mestad displays mucho screen presence, supplying much of the
film’s mordant wit as the investigating Detective Solør. Yet, even more laughs come from blood-splattered
slapstick gags that would make the re-launched Stooges blanch. Still, Svendsen’s three knuckleheaded
co-conspirators are all rather generic.
Indeed, that lack of a flamboyant villain is the only real knock on the
should probably know by now if Jackpot is
your cup of tea. Frankly, the execution
(so to speak) is superior to many other films in what could be considered the
recent Scandinavian noir invasion, but it definitely makes the typical
Tarantino impersonating film look rather sedate in comparison. For those looking for some good chaotic fun,
it definitely fits the bill. Recommended
for connoisseurs of outrageous crime drama, Jackpot
screens again tonight (4/27) as the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival enters its concluding
Labels: Jo Nesbo, Scandinavian Cinema, Tribeca '12