Jackpot Review

Winning the lottery has always seemed like a terrible long shot to me.

So if you’re numbers come up, you’d think you’d have won the Jackpot.

Sadly, for Oscar Svendson, when he wins the pools it could just about be the unluckiest thing that ever happened to him.

Svendson is a manager at a fake christmas tree factory, and not the good kind either.

We’re talking six inches rather than six foot tall, but I guess sometimes you only want a little bit of Norwegian wood.

This particular factory also happens to believe in rehabilitating criminals from their recidivist ways.

While this sounds like a noble and progressive idea, a workplace incident involving a nail gun might convince me otherwise.

As it does for Svendson.

Bored and desperate to escape their real prison of drudgery brought about by the odd jobs their only good for now, a trio of these reformed chaps read about a fool proof system you can buy that guarantees you’ll win the pools.

There are plenty of testimonials to back up such fanciful claims, but as this is the only way they can escape their life time of economic slavery, it’s not like they have anything to lose.

Only problem being these three brothers in arms are short on funds and can’t actually afford to buy this sure thing.

So who better to bully into stumping up the rest then their bourgeois manager Svendson?

Having experienced some of their negotiating skills earlier on, Svendson is easily persuaded to chip in.

But will winning a small fortune be the end of all their problems, or just the beginning of them?

Adapted from a Jo Nesbø book of the same name, the man behind recent cult hit Headhunters; Jackpot is cut from the same cloth.

Mixing graphic violence with a dark sense of humour, Jackpot is a macabre tale of being careful what you wish for.

The cast play out the story well enough, but it feels less fresh and original than Nesbø’s previous book turned into a film.

That’s because the story of Jackpot is one that’s largely been told before, though admittedly not quite so graphically as this.

What made Headhunters so engaging was that you were never quite sure what would happen next.

Jackpot suffers in comparison, as the narrative is a lot more generic and it’s more about waiting to see graphically things will play out for the characters concerned.

Nesbo’s latest film off the production line isn’t a bad film, but you’ll forget about it as soon as the credits have rolled.

I guess some writers and film-makers also think they’ve won the jackpot as soon as they taste a little bit of success.

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

August 2012