Big Game Blu-ray Review
BIG GAME is a crisp clean action flick with no fuss or mess. It knows what it wants to do and it does it in less than an hour and a half. That is good in these times of bloated messes. The movie also boasts a nice somewhat restrained performance from Samuel L. Jackson. And it is wise to keep your brains at the door with this one. It can get quite illogical, but it is so much fun.
The movie starts in Finnish with 13-year-old Oskari (Onni Tommila) bonding with his father (Jorma Tommila) in the snowy landscape of Finland. Oskari is about to embark on a rite of passage on his birthday that others have done in the past. They look at the pictures in a cabin of all the kids that have participated. Each of them show pride in their faces and steel in their eyes. Oskari’s task is to go out for a day by himself and bring back a game of some sort. Oskari has doubts about his abilities to do this. The first task of his ritual, he fails at it. It was about to be cancelled until his father steps in.
Meanwhile President Moore (Jackson) is travelling to Helsinki with Secret Agent Morris (Ray Stevenson) by his side. Agent Morris took a bullet for Moore and is still sore about that. It is a bone of contention when the president makes a joke that hits a bit too close to home. On the ground, Hazar (Mehmet Kurtulus) is leading a group of men on a hunt. We soon find out that they are not hunting for animals, but humans. And they are not hunting just any human, but the president of the United States. The president’s plane is shot down, while he escapes in an escape pod. Yes, the movie can get silly at times. Go with it. Agent Morris is found out to be in league with Hazar to capture Moore. We find out later what the full plan is.
Oskari comes across the pod on his journey. He and Moore join up and start their own treacherous adventure. Director/Screenwriter Jalmari Helander knows he is not directing “Citizen Kane”. He knows what he has and is confident in how he presents. There is a bit of a cat and mouse game between Moore/Oskari and the baddies led by Hazar and Morris. Each thinks they have the upper hand until something comes up to change it up. Oskari knows the terrain and what it entails. The bad guys though have a plan and every detail has been scrutinized and gone over.
The best part of BIG GAME may be the relationship between Oskari and Moore. Both guys have a perception problem of not being tough. The president tells Oskari an embarrassing story about himself, while Oskari fills in what his father thinks of him and his quest. The president does have a good point of saying it is important to convey toughness on the outside even if you aren’t feeling it in on the inside.
At the Pentagon, the vice president (Victor Garber), the director of the CIA (Felicity Huffman) and former CIA operative Herbert (Jim Broadbent) are scurrying to get the president back to safety. Garber shows real zeal in shouting at various people on how and why this could happen.
The various confrontations get more cartoonish as they go along. There are surprises to be had and one-liners to be delivered. BIG GAME is a big loud action flick that doesn’t take a lot of thought, but it sure delivers in entertainment.
Video: Germany filling in for Finland looks nice on film with its snowy mountain tops.
Audio: The sound could have been a lot better. It didn’t help that closed captioning was not available.
There is an unrated version that is a little less than four minutes longer than the regular version.