Saturday, 30 May 2015


If I had to choose one word to describe Big Game it would be 'slight'. The potential was staggering, after all. Samuel L. Jackson returning to full-on Die Hard territory, the majestic Finnish/German landscape in all its finery, Jim Broadbent as a shady CIA boss, and more enticing than all of these things, Jalmari Helander in the director's chair, providing fans of breakout hit, Rare Exports, with another quirky offering.

A young teenager, Rare Exports' Onni Tommila, is yet to become a man. To do this he must spend a night in the woods, surviving the wilderness and taking home the bacon. Or deer in this case, depending on whether he can get to grips with the bow and arrow his father gave him. Of course, bigger game is in sight when Air Force One is shot down near his campsite and the President of the United States (Jackson) shows up, hoping to thwart the terrorists out to collect their trophy.

Sounds like a blast, right? Well it does have its moments, but they are few and far between. Rare Exports was both witty and inventive, but Big Game takes an age to find its feet and even when it does, the worn out action beats rarely hit their target. The setting is stunning and the actors deserve better, but Helander's follow-up to A Christmas Tale relies far too heavily on slow-motion set-pieces and ample charm. Jackson and Tommila make a good double-act and their offbeat pairing is the film's saving grace, but besides this, Big Game is undercooked at every turn. 

Could've and should have been a lot more fun, Big Game is a wasted opportunity and a huge disappointment after Rare Exports. Approach with caution.

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