Movie: Big Game
My Rating: 4 stars
Well, my favorite Finnish, father/son, acting duo are at it again. Onni and Jorma Tommila charmed us in Rare Exports—a movie in which boy and father succeeded in slaying the ancient demon, Santa Claus, while saving their reindeer ranch from financial ruin. And they’re back engaging in another coming of age ritual in the Finnish wilderness. This time, little Onni is turning thirteen. So you know what that means. Yup, he’s on the verge of becoming a man. All he has to do is go out into the woods alone for the night, and emerge with a dead animal, which he’ll have hunted himself. That beats a bar mitzvah any day.
This seems like a tall order for the kid. Thirteen-year-olds aren’t quite as tough as they use to be. His dad is a seasoned hunter, but Onni doesn’t seem to show the same promise. But, he heads into the woods to give it his best shot anyway. And, he seems to have a good idea of how to accomplish his mission. But then, all hell breaks loose when Air Force One is shot down by terrorists over the forest where he’s hunting. So the next step is obviously for Onni to help the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson, naturally) escape from the killers who are trying to hunt some “big game” of their own. This story got crazy really fast!
It’s pretty funny actually. The story, and the action, and the explosions all seem like a teenager’s action hero fantasy. Especially since it’s the little thirteen-year-old who saves the day. And then, while the credits were rolling, I noticed that indeed, the screenplay was based on an original story written by none other than our little Onni Tommila. Isn’t that the most adorable thing you’ve ever heard? But, now I’m left to figure something out. Is the Tommila family very wealthy and/or influential in the Finnish film industry? Are they celebrities? Or, is the Finnish film industry so small that just about anyone with a good idea and decent track record can get their movie made? I’d be happy with any answer.
I thought this movie was delightful. And, I think you’ll enjoy it too if you approach it with the right attitude. If you liked Rare Exports (I loved it), then you’ll probably find this movie to be pretty cute too. It has a lot of similarities to that one. It has heartwarming elements, a little bit of bloody violence, some good, classic Finnish countryside shots. And, both movies are more than a little ridiculous. Although this one, being a big, cheesy, action thriller, lets all the actors ham it up a lot more effectively. So, I think this one is worth giving this movie a shot.