JackpotFeature Film | Magnus Martens By Adrienne McIlvaine
A crafty and clever Norwegian crime caper.
Directed with sharp comedic timing by Magnus Martens and bouyed by Jo Nesbø's darkly funny script, Jackpot brings a dry Norwegian sensibility to its fast-paced, farcical tale of greed gone wild. Oscar (Kyrre Hellum) is the only survivor of a bloody shootout in a sleazy strip club, and hardnosed detective Solør (Henrik Mestad) is determined to get to the bottom of his improbable tale of how a 1.7 million kroner lottery prize turned a group of friends into cold-blooded killers. Hellum is appealingly scruffy as the flustered Oscar, and though the film gives the merest hint of characterization to the rest of the gang, which includes a chain-smoking psychopath and an easygoing Christmas tree machine operator, there's a laidback rapport between Oscar and Tor (Mads Ousdal), his sadsack best friend who needs the money more than anyone else. Nesbø packs the film with knowing references to twisty crime flicks Fargo and The Usual Suspects, and efficiently lays out Oscar's flashback tale with a keen understanding of how seemingly insignificant events can have the biggest impact. There's gore too, and plenty of it, in several scenes that are hilarious, surprising, and cleverly executed. It's a witty and stylish story of dishonor among thieves, and though it doesn't reinvent the wheel it's a solid addition to the genre.