Jackpot (15) 90 mins ***
With Stieg Larsson all filmed out, Jo Nesbo has been appointed the movies’ new favourite Nordic crime writer. Nesbo favours compromised, not always sympathetic characters forced into scrabbling to save their hides, but his USP may be his (not un-British) sense of humour. Here, an offbeat noir scenario – born loser Oscar (Kyrre Hellum) sits in a police interview room one Christmas, trying to explain how he survived the bloodbath that did for his cohorts in a football pools syndicate – gets spun by director Magnus Martens into something like subtitled Ealing or Lock Stock…, right down to the unconventional use of a tanning bed.
Where April’s lively Nesbo adaptation Headhunters moved in lavish circles, Jackpot has been knocked out fast and cheap, with tongue firmly in cheek: severed body parts are tossed around with macabre glee, and Martens works up a fair amount of misanthropic fun at the expense of dumb-as-nuts characters who probably deserve their fates. Once again, the tangled plotting barely merits thinking about in the light of day, but delivers a certain knowing, pulpy enjoyment while you’re in the room with it. The end-credits cover of Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody” remains questionable, though – especially at the height of August.
Jackpot opens in selected cinemas from today.