Film review: Big Game

In Finnish director Jalmari Helander’s Big Game, Samuel L. Jackson stars as the Most Powerful Man in the World, but the character he portrays may just be the weakest POTUS we have ever seen onscreen, and that includes Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove and Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks!

Set deep in the mountainous region of northern Finland, the film opens with a very sentimental scene in which the 12-year-old Oskari (Onni Tommila) looks at the pictures of all the boys who have preceded him over the years to become men by successfully hunting a deer on their 13th birthday. Oskari is not prepared for this (he can barely hold his bow and arrow, never mind hit the target), but he does not want to disappoint his father.

In the following scene, high up in the air, US president William Allan Moore is aboard Air Force One and on his way to Helsinki, where he is to deliver one of the last major speeches of his presidency. A traitor in his midst leads to a fatal accident in which most of the crew is killed, but Moore and a trusted Secret Service agent manage to escape just before the deadly crash landing in desolate Lapland.

The first person to reach Moore is, of course, Oskari, just when they both need help the most. However, while it is easy to ignore the obviously far-fetched serendipity of fate conspiring to bring these two men together in their hour of need, it proves to be too big a challenge to forgive the film its numerous other problems.

To read the full review, please visit The Prague Post.

(Still of Samuel L. Jackson and Onni Tommila in Big Game. © 2013 – Altitude Film Entertainment)