A young teenager camping in the woods helps rescue the President of the United States when Air Force One is shot down near his campsite.A young teenager camping in the woods helps rescue the President of the United States when Air Force One is shot down near his campsite.A young teenager camping in the woods helps rescue the President of the United States when Air Force One is shot down near his campsite.
Pure, uncomplex and straightforward action entertainment
In 2010 Jalmari Helander delivered one of the oddest but simultaneously most ingenious and refreshing horror movies of the new millennium with "Rare Exports". The success of that film was clearly big enough for him to get noticed in Hollywood and take a shot at making a large-budgeted blockbuster with A-listed actors. We see this happening a lot, by the way: young and creative non-American directors are plucked from their native countries after barely one hit and lured to Hollywood where their careers usually obstruct quickly because they are only allowed to direct lame remakes. But this is where it differs with Helander! Instead of going to Hollyood, Helander brought Hollywood to his beloved Finland for what is one of the most enjoyable, straightforward and unscrupulous action/adventure movies of the '10s. The story is simple yet delightfully far-fetched and over-the-top: 13-year-old Oskari is in the middle of performing a traditional Finnish manhood ritual when Air Force One gets shot out of the air on its way to Helsinki and crash-lands near the boy's hunting turf. Oskari rescues President William Alan Moore from his escape pod and swears to guide him back to civilization before his assailants find him and finish the job. "Big Game" has a couple of strong trumps, namely the chemistry between young Finnish actor Onni Tommila and veteran actor Samuel L. Jackson (in another fresh and surprising choice of role), the magnificently breath-taking Finnish filming locations (although largely filmed in Germany) and the purity of the screenplay. I love how Helander doesn't dive too much into themes like terrorism or overly convoluted conspiracy theories but opted for good old-fashioned and pulpy spectacle. Jackson's portrayal of the US President is also phenomenal. They are basically after him because he's an indecisive and cowardly leader. President Moore's toughest anecdote is a story about urinating in his pants and, in a way, undergoing the bravery ritual is as relevant to him as it is to Oskari. Obviously, there are several flaws in "Big Game" as well, notably how quickly everything and everybody gets tracked in these supposedly giant and impenetrable forests, but you'll gladly accept them. Thanks to the fast pacing, the compact running time and the thrilling special effects, "Big Game" is a massively enjoyable popcorn action flick that comes with my highest recommendation.
- Jan 5, 2018
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