Big Game will not be winning the award ‘Most Sensible Movie Of The Year’. Indeed it reaches Fast & Furious levels of preposterousness, where you either have to submit to its inherent silliness or alternatively break down in tears and decry the state of modern entertainment. Personally I went for the former.
The US President (Samuel L. Jackson) is flying to some important talks when an evil terrorist (played by an actor who looks the dictionary definition of ‘stereotypical foreign bad guy’) blows Air Force One out of the sky. The Pres is put in an escape capsule and dropped into the middle of the remote Finnish wilderness.
That’s not the end of his problems, as it turns out his Head Of Security (Ray Stevenson) is evil too and along with the terrorist is determined to kill the President before anyone can find and rescue him. Luckily for the First Man, he plummets to earth near a teenage boy called Oskari (Onni Tommila), who’s been sent into the forest to kill something, which will prove what sort of man he will be (he come it’s a very remote old-fashioned Finnish village, where apparently nobody knows what the American President looks like, but where their children speak excellent English).
After some initial suspicion, Oskar begins to help the President to get out of the woods alive – something easier said than done.
Big Game is an odd movie. In the special features even those who made it don’t seem entirely sure what they’ve created, with the director insisting that despite having a teenage lead, this is not a family movie (he says it’s like Die Hard), while one of the producers says it’s like a 1980s Amblin movie. To be honest it’s more like the latter – an 80s family film if it was written by the Tea Party (which isn’t as bad as it sounds, because in many other respects it’s not a family film at all, but there are certainly some odd echoes).
It never quite finds a sustained tone and Samuel L. Jackson spends most the movie seeming bemused by what the hell he’s supposed to be doing. Indeed, it’s really the cast and some decent special features that are the only things that separate this from the sort of straight-to-DVD action that gets released on a weekly basis.
The film is oddly fun though, getting increasingly ridiculous as it goes along. By the 50th time something happens that would absolutely, definitely kill all involved, you just sort of have to go with it and put a slightly unbelieving expression on your face. I certainly won’t be adding it to my list of the greatest movies ever, and I almost certainly will never watch it again, but partly due to its odd innocence and earnestness it wasn’t half as bad as it could easily have been.
Overall Verdict: An impressively ridiculous but oddly entertaining movie, which almost beats you into submission with its farcically over the top action. In the end, it’s more fun that it has any right to be.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac