Film Review: Jackpot

Jackpot is a fun Norwegian crime caper that works because of its macabre humour. Not quite as good as Jo Nesbø’s Headhunters, Jackpot is entertaining nevertheless.

When Oscar awakens clutching a shotgun at the scene of a bloody crime, police arrest him and take him in for questioning. As police try to ascertain his guilt, Oscar explains to them that it all started when he and three others won the lottery jackpot…

The blend of humour works well with the violent crime backdrop in Jackpot. Based on Jo Nesbø’s novel, the film carries similar hallmarks to Headhunters, also based on the author’s work. Most notable of these is the combination of violent crime with macabre humour.

The plot of Jackpot is a bit predictable. This does not diminish to greatly from the overall enjoyment factor however. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously; the gore is quickly placated by something oddly humorous. The emphasis is on caper rather than serious and authentic crime.

Perhaps the one drawback of Jackpot is the central character. Oscar is not as engaging as a protagonist should be. There is little to root for, despite the dilemma he finds himself in. Elsewhere, characters are not developed sufficiently. If more effort had gone into this, Jackpot would have been a great film.

The style of the film is reminiscent of other recent mainstream Scandinavian films. Director Magnus Martens brings a light touch, and the film does not feel longer than its brief run time. The use of music is a plus. Given the Christmas setting, a winter release would have been more fitting for the film.

Henrik Mestad performs best as police detective Solør. Mestad is suitably overblown as the detective struggling to figure out the truth. Kyrre Hellum is well cast as Oscar, looking every inch the normal guy stuck in an abnormal situation.

Definitely a fun watch, Jackpot is unlikely to face strong opposition. Nonetheless, it is not a particularly memorable film.