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Jackpot More at IMDbPro »Arme Riddere (original title)

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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

The gory story of four criminals splitting a 1,7 million win

Author: OJT from Norway
8 December 2011

I was looking forward to Arme Riddere, told it was a crime story told in a Tarantino/Coen-stylish way. And it's good, though maybe not as funny as I thought it wood be. Still this is good entertainment, and well acted, and the story, based on a manuscript by Jo Nesbø, also has it's great outline. The filming technique is also well done.

Well, what happens? Terrified and bloody, Oscar Svendsen awakes clinched to a shotgun in a strippers joint. Around him 8 dead men, and police aiming at him. To Oscar it's clear that he is innocent. It all started when four chaps won 1,7 million on the pools...

The film starts off with meeting the main characters, Oscar and the detective, slowly starting to believe Oscars' story about him and his three criminal friends.

I goes wrong from the start. And is it really a good idea playing the pools which three inmates trying to get back in real life? Of course not. And from ten on the story gets bloody. Too bloody for Norways' biggest newspaper, which said it was impossible to review. It's not, and this statement is just silly. As most other Norwegian reviewers have stated later on.

This is hardly a comedy, though there are some good laughs tucked in the story. The story is sick and twisted, but not worse that it could actually have happened in that kind of wrong environment.

Arme Riddere is good fun, but lacks the quality of a classic. May this is because it's not drawing the line completely out. Tt's not really a crime story, not really a comedy, a.s.o. But if you're not afraid of some gore, I think you'll have a really good time watching this.

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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Funny Funny funny

Author: tohalloran from Ireland
15 August 2012

I don't like gore but the gore is so cartoonish here it does not interfere with the fun. This film has everything.It has the basic convoluted crime story,unbelievably funny dialogue and great characterisation. There is nothing not to like in this film.

The bad guys are well drawn and never given the outlandish lines that Tarentino gives them, they remain human, stupidly criminal and never the mere 'apes' that the police hero sees.

I was a little thrown by the ending. I don't know how we were meant to judge the detective but of course it hardly matters.

This shames Hollywood once again, just like Headhunters did. If you don't find this hilarious the fault is with you.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Absurdist crime caper, exceptionally well-judged throughout.

Author: Jonathon Dabell ( from Todmorden, England
12 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jackpot is based on an original screen story by Jo Nesbo (the Scandinavian novelist behind crime bestseller Headhunters, as well as several successful children's' books which have earned him favourable comparisons to the late, great Roald Dahl). Nesbø, it seems, is the new Stieg Larsson and Roald Dahl rolled into one – high praise indeed.

Jackpot is a Coen/Ritchie/Tarantino-like story set in a remote town on the Norwegian-Swedish border. It begins as a trio of excited youths run into a sleazy strip joint known as Pink Heaven only to be blasted back through the doors and windows by a maelstrom of automatic gunfire. When the police arrive, they find the place heaped with dead bodies and literally awash with blood; apparently the result of a massive gunfight. Intense, hard-nosed cop Solør (Henrik Mestad) surveys the bloodbath with a trained eye and tells his assistant Gina (Marie Blokhus) to book a nearby hotel, sensing that here is a case that will take considerable time to unravel. Unexpectedly, Solør discovers a survivor lying beneath one of the victims. Oscar Svendson (Kyrre Hellum), the survivor, is the only person who knows what really happened at this scene of carnage. Solør takes him to an interview room where he points out that it is his job to determine whether Oscar is a suspect in, or witness of, the crime that has occurred. What follows is Oscar's (possibly fictitious) account of the events leading up to the Pink Heaven massacre.

Jackpot is pure absurdist cinema, one of the most off-the-wall crime capers ever made, with a narrative that deliberately embraces its more farcical elements and exaggerates them to the point where the story becomes a non-stop box of surprises. Imagine the scene from Pulp Fiction, where John Travolta accidentally blows the head off a prisoner in the back of his and Samuel L. Jackson's car and has to call in professional "cleaner" Harvey Keitel to sort out the problem… Jackpot basically adopts the same tone of edgy black comedy, at once shockingly violent yet incredibly funny, and sustains it for its entire 86 minute running time. The performances are engaging throughout, Hellum holding the madness together as the hopelessly unlucky victim/incredibly skilled liar Oscar, while Mestad has his moments as the slightly unhinged cop. Best of all are Ousdal and Berning as two of the betting winners, utterly disreputable ex-criminals whose capacity for violence is matched only by their child-like actions and reactions to everything that happens to them.

Magnus Martens directs the film with enormous confidence, generating genuine belly laughs from the sickest of material. Few scenes, for instance, can rival the sheer hilarity of Thor's hysterically funny "corpse puppetry" scene, where he amuses himself by manipulating a dead body to scare Oscar. It's bad taste comedy taken to such a level that it almost transcends criticism on normal terms. There are a few weaknesses with the film, such as an over-plotted final quarter which becomes tricky to follow, plus a disappointingly brief running time which rushes to the denouement too quickly for the film's own good. Nevertheless Jackpot is a tremendously entertaining ride and yet another example of the high quality cinema coming out of Scandinavia at this time.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Madcap Scandi crime with some truly macabre comic moments

Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
6 February 2015

JACKPOT is a Tarantino-esque crime thriller, laced with black comedy and based on a story by Jo Nesbo, the man responsible for the excellent HEADHUNTERS. This film isn't another HEADHUNTERS, but it does feel in the same territory and it comes close at times. It's a gruesome tale of thieves falling out, packed with twists and turns and all manner of unholy murder.

The story begins with deceptive simplicity: a work syndicate win millions on a lottery. However, things soon take a dark turn indeed, and we're soon up to our necks in blood-spraying murder. Apart from the opening flash-forward scene which spoils later surprises (I typically hate non-linear scenes in films, except in the likes of PULP FICTION where they're done right), there's little to dislike here.

The actors are likable, the direction is decent, and the comedy really adds to the experience. JACKPOT is a perfect film for both fans of Scandi crime and madcap black comedies; not a classic perhaps, but it's certainly good and better than most even if it does tell a familiar storyline these days.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Worth a punt for a pound.

Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
15 January 2015

Based on a story by renowned crime writer Jo Nesbø, Jackpot stars Kyrre Hellum as Oscar, who awakes clutching a shotgun on the floor of a strip joint strewn with dead bodies and swarming with police officers. Taken for questioning by hard-nosed cop Solør (Henrik Mestad), Oscar recounts the unlikely events leading up to this point, starting with him winning a share of a 1.7m krone prize in a betting pool. But is Oscar telling the truth or spinning a wild yarn?

This was a blind buy from Poundland, and while I wouldn't exactly say that I hit the jackpot with my gamble, I don't regret spending my hard-earned cash on the DVD (all £1 of it!). Director Magnus Martens handles the darkly humorous tale of crime, treachery and murder with confidence, his cast put in solid performances, and there is plenty of grisly violence to keep fans of gritty crime capers satisfied for the duration. Where the film falls down slightly is in its narrative, which, despite plenty of twists and turns, isn't quite as clever or as deranged as it is clearly intended to be—certainly not on a par with the absurdist work of The Coen Brothers, as the DVD cover states.

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Norwegian Reservoir Dogs

Author: Mohammed Khan from Brockley, Australia
30 January 2015

A Norwegian Reservoir Dogs. Strong acting performances, it will have you gripped and guessing throughout - what more do you want? The cutting of the film helps the suspense, and actually really directs the way your mind works as you watch it. Yes, it is bloody, but then again Tarantino gets away with it. It is black comedy, it is a well thought-out script, lots of fine details, and the social commentary is not at all what you think it will be. Ignore the reviews as I am sure you normally do, and watch it. The atmosphere and scenes really suit the plot. Not one to watch with the girlfriend - this is a movie for the night in alone. If you have got as far as the review, you should definitely watch it to make your own opinion of it.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:


Author: morgan-659-312842 from United Kingdom
26 July 2013

Other reviewers have outlined the story quite well so I'll keep this short. This film is very entertaining and very funny. Of course that depends on what you find funny. Almost all the humour is so called black comedy. Some people might find the comedic scenes distasteful but they made me laugh out loud and that's because, although gory, they are somewhat cartoonish. The script is tight and flows nicely although the film could have been 15 - 20 minutes longer. The ending feels a little rushed and is not as satisfying as it could have been. These are small quibbles and overall I would heartily recommend the film both for the thriller and comedic aspects.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Scandinavian, dark, and funny.

Author: carbuff
10 May 2015

Black humor with sort of a happy black ending, which is about as close to a spoiler as I want to get.

It's an odd grim movie that starts out really strong and compelling, and while it loses steam as it moves along, it still manages to keep you guessing until the end. It's a bit bloody in parts, but nothing, I'm afraid, that's too terribly shocking to a modern audience.

While this film seems to be assembled from parts of a bunch of different movies ("Very Bad Things", among many others, comes immediately to mind), the end result is reasonably original.

Scandinavians do dark stuff better than anyone else for some reason- -must be the whole Arctic Circle thing or something. Nobody in this film is particularly likable, but it is different enough from American movies and has an excellent foreign ensemble cast, so it's a nice change of pace.

I mean, jeesh it's only 85 minutes long, so you don't have a real big commitment here. Just shut it off, if it doesn't hold your attention, but my guess is that it will, although it's another film that may leave you feeling a bit dirty at the end, which seems to be becoming quite common. That might accurately reflect the world we are living in.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Jackpot wins big

Author: Guy from UK
9 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

JACKPOT is a Scandi-comedy, which is to say that it's dark and gruesome and quite funny. Winning the office lottery syndicate ought to be a good thing but for our hero it becomes something of a worry. You see, he runs a firm making Christmas trees...which employs only ex-cons trying to rehabilitate. With his three co-winners all being violent ex- offenders, it isn't long before they begin to realise that the fewer of them there are, the more money they'll each receive. Cue lots of black comedy as the incompetent four try to kill (or survive) each other. But what to do with all the corpses...? Then the cops get involved. If you enjoy black comedy with a happy ending (really...sort of) then you'll enjoy this.

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Author: paul2001sw-1 ( from Saffron Walden, UK
12 December 2016

There are shades of numerous other films in 's 'Jackpot' but most obviously, 'The Usual Suspects' comes to mind: an apparent innocent is the sole survivor of a mass killing, but is it possible he's just selling the police a shaggy dog story? But this movie lacks the class and mastery of indirection of that famous film: the in-plot police may get fooled, but there's no way the audience doesn't suspect. And (true or not) the story isn't very interesting - it has a kind of juvenile fascination with strip clubs, chopping up bodies, and scenes where everyone shoots everybody else simultaneously - I have seen good films about each of these things, but there's something a bit adolescent about sticking them together and calling it a movie. It's certainly a contrast to the normal mood of "Scandi-noir" - but not necessarily a good one.

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