Jo Nesbø’s Jackpot ***1/2 (out of five)
Contrary to its title, Jo Nesbø’s Jackpot is not about the Norwegian bestselling author winning the lottery. Rather, it’s an original film (not an adaptation of one of his novels) that’s based on a story by Nesbø, and a cracking tale it is. A bloody shoot-out in a porn palace near the Swedish / Norweigan border initiates a police investigation into what Oscar (Kyrre Hellum, who’s got something of the Sam Rockwells about him), the only survivor, was doing there. We delve into the events leading up to that massacre, beginning with a syndication of ex-cons winning a football pool. Things go wrong, and get funnier, from there.
Ever since John Travolta shot that kid in the back seat of the car in the head in Pulp Fiction and gazillions of people around the world found themselves laughing hysterically at the site of Travolta’s face covered in the kid’s brains, many films have tried to find the right balance by which heavy violence can be funny. Jackpot, a true “black comedy” if ever there was one, deftly finds that balance, and is entertaining throughout. Constantly engaging, and highly recommended.