thu 01/12/2022

Jackpot | reviews, news & interviews

Jackpot

Jackpot

Threadbare Jo Nesbø-plotted where’s-the-money farrago

'Jackpot': Oscar (Kyrre Hellum, left) and chums wonder whether the winnings will be theirs

It’s a standard dilemma in film. What to do with the body? In this case, the answer can be seen coming but when it does, it isn’t one that could have occurred outside the world created for the otherwise all too generic Jackpot.

Although based on a story by the Norwegian thriller writer Jo Nesbø and co-scripted by him, Jackpot (Arme Riddere) isn’t hard-boiled like his Harry Hole books or intrigue-laden like Headhunters, his novel also recently adapted for film. Instead, it sidesteps depth in favour of a cartoon-style punchiness. Despite it’s washed-out palette, Jackpot isn’t brooding Nordic noir. It aims for laughs.

The hi-jinks include fun with a nail gun, oodles of violence and a shoot-out

Somewhere in the north of Norway, close to the border with Sweden, Oscar (Kyrre Hellum) is in charge of a factory that makes artificial Christmas trees. His three co-workers are ex-criminals, all grizzled toughies. They make a joint bet on the football pools and, unknown to the other three, Oscar alters what’s been wagered on. They win 1,739,361 kroner, a figure which supposedly cannot be equally divided into four. Soon, it all falls apart and just Oscar and Thor are left alive. The hi-jinks include fun with a nail gun, oodles of violence and a shoot-out, the aftermath of which opens the film as Oscar explains what’s happened to the detective trying to unravel the mess. There's a double cross too, which helps Oscar and his girlfriend scarper with the cash as the film ends.

Director Magnus Martens has suggested that Jackpot echoes The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It does. To a point. Really, it’s school-of-Tarantino with dashes of the Coen brothers and Shallow Grave. The result is a Guy Ritchie caper transplanted to the bleakest of environments with all the character development extracted. The film hurtles through a series of set pieces, but there’s precious little else to it. It could be set anywhere. Occasional flashes of satire puncture male posturing and deliverance comes from the female side, but it’s surface stuff. Smiles aren’t raised.

Jackpot isn’t sharp enough to escape the shadows of all that it looks to. Little more than a patchwork quilt of influences, it’s seemingly stitched together to hitch a ride on the current fascination with Nordic crime. Check out Martens’ previous film instead, the sweet Manchester United-centred comedy United.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Watch the trailer for Jackpot

Jackpot is a Guy Ritchie caper transplanted to the bleakest of environments with all the character development extracted

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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