Big Game review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
Big Game is fun -- albeit overly inflated to a point of bursting out – engaging little adventure aimed at fathers and sons (and at the young at heart). Sure, it has its flaws, but most can be overlooked in the grand scheme of things for the sheer sense of wacky inventions director Jalmari Helander tried to, and to a certain point succeeded, to achieve. Overall, it’s an entertaining throwback to a simpler times when action heroes didn’t wear capes, and instead were equipped with either huge machine guns, or packed enough muscle mass to fill the entirety of the silver screen, and more.
The story follows Oskari (played by the charming young lead Onni Tommila), as his father Sapio (on-screen and in real life also, played by Jorma Tommila), sends him on a hunting initiation rite for the boy to prove its worth among the band of senior hunters. During said rite, air force one becomes jeopardized and the president, played by Samuel L. Jackson, through series of events, ends up befriending Oskari as both of them search a way out of the forest. What follows is a bizarre experience for both moviegoers and the involved movie characters, and saying more would spoil the fun.
For those seeking intelligent, in-depth character studies and analysis, this is not the intended piece by any means. The dialog is cheesy (especially back at base) and everyone looks, walks and talks cartoony except Onni Tommila and Samuel L. Jackson. Big Game is in many ways similar to Home Alone, except that it’s outside. The antagonists are being bad guys just for the sake of it, or as Jim Broadbent puts it in the movie: “they only care for money, sex, or God”.
Big Game is a fun ride all throughout, at least if you pre-order the premise that is. For those devoid of imagination and a sense of originality, this movie would probably not work as well as intended. But, as long as you buy the whole silly ordeal, you’re in for a nostalgic trip to the shtick of the 80’s and 90’s action thrills. Unfortunately, Big Game would probably never achieve cult status among moviegoers, probably because the audience is just not that interested anymore in some campy little fun.
To conclude, there is not much else to say about Big Game that hasn’t been said in the previous 20 or so years when describing Schwarzenegger’s acting affairs. Its cartoony physics, logical inconsistencies and plot-holes galore by no means override the campy fun to be had with this one.
As it currently stands, it’s probably fair to give Big Game a chance or two.