Saturday, April 23, 2016

Game On

Big Game (2015) is one of the best Finnish films I've seen - OK, it's one of the only, especially since I haven't seen director Jamari Helander's Xmas horror hit Rare Exports. I think the only other one I can think of is Pathfinder. Still, it's a good one.

Like Pathfinder, this is about a boy who has to pit his wits against nature and evil men. It takes place in the present day, more or less. A 12-year old boy (Onni Tommila) is being sent out into the Finnish wilderness with a bow and arrow to bring back a prize and become a man and hunter. His father's friends seem dubious, but off he goes into the mountains. Just aside - these mountains are gorgeous, but don't plan a trip to Finland to see them. Those parts were filmed in the Alps. Finland is pretty flat, more noted for marshes than mountains.

Meanwhile, President Samuel L. Jackson is flying to Europe for a summit, when Air Force One is shot down by a missile. He gets out in an escape pod, and is hunted by comic-opera terrorists. Fortunately the boy finds him first. But this boy is no super-survivor like Hanna, to mention another Scandinavian-kid-in-the-wilderness movie. He's just a kid with a father whose a famous hunter, who isn't certain that he can live up to expectations.

This part, with Pres. Jackson giving young Tommila self-esteem help, is very sweet - the most powerful man in the world at the mercy of the elements and an uncertain boy. Then the terrorists catch up, and we move into a more standard action movie, with the boy getting some steel in his spine - what the Finns call "sisu". This part is fun, if a little ridiculous. In some ways, I wish the movie was more realistic; in some ways, I wish there were more of the kick-ass stuff.

In the end, this compromise or confusion of purpose and tone was a problem for me. It made some of the other compromises in plot or acting stand out a little more - things that you don't think about if things move fast enough. So this isn't either a great charater- or action-driven movie, but a little of both.

In conclusion, I'd vote for President Samuel L. Jackson.

1 comment:

mr. schprock said...

Regarding your last sentence, Mitt Romney is looking for a third-party candidate. I'd vote for him.