Kevin (J. Michael Trautmann) steals a car at gunpoint, and his friend, Dre (Evan Ross), tags along with him for the ride while the two victims, Carly (Brittany Snow) and Lena (Christian Serratos), are in the backseat. Lena suffers from a gunshot wound which Kevin had inflicted on her, so Carly, her best friend, desperately tries to persuade the carjackers to drive her to a hospital.
Writer/director Aimee Lagos shifts the plot back and forth between the carjacking incident and the events that led up to it from the perspective of each of the characters. Had the plot unfolded linearly, it would have been rather pedestrian and bland. You can palpably feel Carly's plight throughout the carjacking-gone-wrong. Those moments provide a pure rush of adrenaline, but what elevate the film from mediocrity are the flashback sequences because, thanks to the added character development, they allow you to care for the characters as complex albeit flawed human beings. There's more to Dre and Kevin than meets the eye; they're not villains in the cartoonish sense eventually their backstories unfold. At times, though, the constant flashbacks do get a bit tedious, but you'll still find yourself riveted and wondering what will happen to the victims and the carjackers. It's also worth mentioning the solid performances by each of the four actors, especially the underrated, talented Evan Ross as Dre. The last 15 minutes or so of the film feel quite powerful and pack an emotional wallop that's quite rare and unexpected for such a gritty, visually stylish thriller.
The Five-Year Engagement
Roger (Aksel Hennie) works as a corporate headhunter in Norway, but his salary from that profession isn't enough to support the extravagant life style of his wife, Diana (Synnove Macody Lund). So, he gets a second job, albeit one that croses legal boundaries: an art thief. When he learns that Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has in his possession a lost painting by the artist Ruben that's worth 100 million Euros, he seizes the opportunity to make a big heist which soon puts his own life on the line.
To describe the plot any further than the synopsis above would be unfair because it would spoil the film's many brilliant twists and turns. The violence, while quite graphic, veers into darkly comedic territory that will remind you of the Coen brothers' Fargo crossed with a little of Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Solid performances also help to elevate the film beyong just your standard crime thriller. Sure, the last 10 minutes have so many surprises that your head might spin from being mindf*&!ed, but there's no denying how much fun it feels to be mindf*&!ed. Suspenseful, wickedly funny and clever, Headhunters offers more bang for your buck than most modern crime thrillers.