Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Big Game

(Finland, UK, Germany, 2014)

It’s the most expensive movie ever made in Finland, and in an odd way, sort of reassuring to me. I mean, we all know that just tons of really crappy movies are churned out in places like Japan, India, Hong Kong, but if you’re like me you subconsciously think of Europe as somehow more serious, sober, literary. Not true. When they want to, Europeans can make movies just as stupid as your average $250,000,000 Hollywood action movie for idiots!

There is so much really stupid in the movie that I’d be here all night if I tried to enumerate them, so I’ll just pick some of the stupidest. Little Oskari, played by thirteen-year-old Onni Tomilla, is undergoing a Laplander rite of passage, sent out into the mountainous forest (way too mountainous; it was filmed in Germany) to kill something. His old man kilt him a bar. Oskari will be lucky to bag a lemming.

But there is skullduggery afoot high overhead aboard Air Force One. President Samuel L. Jackson is tricked into the escape capsule before the plane and all the fighter escorts are shot down. He lands almost on top of the kid. And … he can’t get out. Somebody has to enter a code from the outside before the prez can exit the capsule. Now, tell me how that makes sense …

There are the usual number of unsurvivable situations easily survived, the usual number of henchmen disposed of like toilet paper. The grand finale has the prez and the boy descending by parachute into a nuclear explosion (and where did the Bad Guy get a nuke? Pulled it right out of his ass, I guess), about which one of the characters says maybe the only intelligent line of dialogue in the whole picture: “No one could survive that!” But here they come, drifting down like a dandelion seed under their undamaged parachute.

One word about the Bad Guy, and then out. First he has one motive for this impossibly elaborate master plan. Then he has another. And then, no, that wasn’t what he was really up to. By that time I was convinced he had no fucking idea why he was doing all this except to provide yet another role for an evil Arab billionaire. Avoid this ultra-stupid European movie.