Director: Jalmari Helander
Cast: Samuel J Jackson, Onni Tommila, Jim Broadbent
Poster of 'Big Game'. Pic/Santa Banta
At this point of time Samuel L Jackson can get away with making pretty much anything. All he has to do is look boorish, utter his famous expletive and shoot some people or things. Whether he plays the good guy or the bad guy, he's always Samuel L Jackson, and he knows audiences like that about him. It's only about how ridiculous things get and how he delivers in crazy scenarios.
So this time, he stars in a Finnish film, where he plays the President of the United States, whose plane crash lands in the forests of Finland after terrorists shoot it down. His only hope? A thirteen year old boy named Oskari, who is out in the wilderness on a hunting mission. With that extremely ridiculous plot out of the way in the first few minutes of the film, we're treated to a surprisingly entertaining movie. The terrorists close in on the two for their own 'Big Game' hunt while those back in the US control room watch helplessly.
The film never shies away from going the whole hog. It knows that the plot is ridonkulous beyond belief, and it takes full advantage by becoming B movie personified. Jackson gets to hurl some of the best one liners he's had in years, and also indulge in over the top stunts along with the kid. The villains are the most stereotypical ugly baddies you'll see in theaters. The subject of a 'city dweller' struggling to survive in the grueling nature is both parodied and embraced with style. 'Instead of being tough', the kid says, 'we have to be tough'. The film is filled with gems like these, and ultimately it's actually kind of fascinating how likable the movie is, because it embraces its dumbness. Not to mention the icky sweet natured camaraderie between Jackson and Oskari.
It helps that the movie looks great – the sweeping Finnish landscapes are seldom seen in a Hollywood movie and they're gorgeous. Watching Jackson struggle to scale them in his black suit is both funny and endearing, as is British actor Jim Broadbent's hilariously over the top Southern American accent. The 'conspiracy' angle is amusingly predictable with the inside man 'revealing ' himself as if no one expected it. When it comes to B movie fun you can hardly go wrong with 'Big Game'. Let's just hope there's a sequel that is even more ridiculous, pardon the pun, in nature.