Summary When Air Force One is shot down by terrorists leaving the President of
the United States stranded in the wilderness, there is only one person
around who can save him - a 13-year old boy called Oskari. In the forest
on a hunting mission to prove his maturity to his kinsfolk, Oskari had
been planning to track down a deer, but instead discovers the most
powerful man on the planet in an escape pod. With the terrorists closing
in to capture their own "Big Game" prize, the unlikely duo must team up
to escape their hunters. As anxious Pentagon officials observe the
action via satellite feed, it is up to the President and his new
side-kick to prove themselves and survive the most extraordinary 24
hours of their lives. Genre : Action/Adventure Country : Finland/UK/Germany Cast : Samuel L. Jackson : U.S. President William Allan Moore Ray Stevenson : Morris Onni Tommila : Oskari Director : Jalmari Helander
"Not political, not religious. He is just a certified grade-A psychopath." I thought "Why the hell not ?" after seeing the poster of "Big Game". An adventure film, clearly aimed at a younger audience, with Air Force One crashing down somewhere in a Finnish forest and with the US president trying to saving himself with the help of a Finnish boy who just happens to undergo a local ritual so he can prove himself to the male population. And after I saw that Samuel L. Jackson also took part in this movie as the missing president, I didn't hesitate for a second. It's true that Jackson played some minor roles before this ("Oldboy", "Reasonable Doubt" and "Robocop"), yet I was pleasantly surprised by his last performance in "Kingsman: The secret service". So I went on the assumption that this was going to be a likeable youth film, full of unabashed and not too far-fetched action.
Boy oh boy. I didn't expect this to be such a crappy movie full of improbabilities, ridiculous situations and coincidences. Admittedly, it's indeed aiming for a younger audience, filled with teenage boys, who can have nice dreams that same night after watching such a film and imagine themselves acting as such a hero. But I'm convinced that most of them will shake their heads out of disapproval, while wondering if the makers of this film actually were convinced that they are really so naive.
First lets start with the positive aspects. The scenery is matchless and breathtaking beautiful. I had no idea that Finland looked like that and I was tempted immediately to choose this country as a destination for my next holiday. Onni Tommila, a youthful Finnish actor, performed properly and does his job as the Finnish guide Oskari remarkably well. The entire film is clearly a homage to earlier films with youthful heroism as a central theme. It's a kind of film like "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" in which Short Round plays a prominent role or a typical Spielberg film like "Empire of the Sun". It brings back the nostalgia of fathers going to the cinema with their son to enjoy a cool film for guys. A prerequisite for such films is that the youthful contribution should smoothly transcend the ingenuity of the adults. In other words, the adults are presented as utter fools.
What bothered me the most about this movie, were the totally absurd situations that arose. I admit, when you look at it from the perspective of a young person and you don't take it too serious, it comes across as an entertaining movie. A sort of "Home Alone" in a forest, where you're always a bit smarter and faster than the bad guys. But there are limits. Firstly I would like to purchase the brand of freezer they used here, because I think this hightech-wonder-equipment is indestructible. Swinging under a helicopter, mowing through the woods, tumbling from a mountain, splashing into a lake and afterwards popping up out of the water like a purebred Russian submarine. And this "undamaged" ! Now that's what I call solid quality. But beware ! Make sure you don't end up inside this miracle appliance, because apparently it can't be opened from the inside. The number of accidental meetings is huge. Coincidentally, the probe with the POTUS is landing where Oskari made his camp. The freezer pops out of the water where Air Force One incidentally crashed. And you just need to follow a suspicious helicopter on satelite, and you end up looking at POTUS. The criminal Hazar (Mehmet Kurtulus) apparently isn't such a hot-shot criminal afterall, because he doesn't even know how to load an automatic rifle. And the way the satellite images are used in the Pentagon to follow the president, is just hilarious.
I admit, It shouldn't always be that serious and occasionally a lightly youth film is also welcome, but there are limits to follies and ridiculous situations. As a boy I'd fall for this blindly. But as an adult, who started watching this film unprepared, it gradually began to annoy me more and more because of the series of stupidities. The final image full of patriotism and heroism ultimately, was a bit too much for me.