Onni Tommila in Big Game (2014)

Saving POTUS to the Finnish

Oskari (Onni Tommila) is about to turn 13 and like all the men of his village he must spend a night in the woods and in the morning kill an animal to bring back in order to show what sort of man he is. But Oskari is in for a shock as whilst he is out in the woods Air Force One, carrying President William Alan Moore (Samuel L. Jackson), is attacked and the President is ejected in his safety pod, coming down in the middle of the forest. Now young Oskari must guide the President back to safety but as they soon find out protect him as well as there is a group of terrorists who are hunting him down.

Important thing first, by the time "Big Game" was over I had certainly been entertained but not really in the way I had been expecting. I say that because at times "Big Game" seems unsure of what it is trying to be or maybe is simply trying to be too many different things. It isn't that it is a complicated movie as we have the US President in a Finnish forest being aided by a 13 year old boy who is there as part of a rite of passage in to manhood. In typical fashion we have terrorists, corrupt secret service men and even corrupt people in the Pentagon which if I think of other recent movies about someone saving the President is all pretty standard stuff.

Samuel L. Jackson in Big Game (2014)

But you see "Big Game" does a couple of things which you will either love or hate with the first being Samuel L. Jackson playing the President but one who is weak. For the majority of the movie this isn't Samuel L. Jackson being the bad-ass that we all know and love, and to be honest watching him as the President get beat down feels strangely wrong. But then you have all the action heroics with young Oskari saving the President, leaping off mountains through the air and firing arrows. Now this is obviously done to be intentionally over the top and at times comical but it feels all a bit too ridiculous although it does have at times that groan appeal of a bad movie which leaves you entertained, conflicted and yet wanting more.

Now "Big Game" starts in Finnish and before watching this I had only watched three other Finnish movies, two of which were animations, but I smiled because the one non animated Finnish movie I had watched was "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale" and I recognized Onni Tommila and Jorma Tommila immediately. But I also smiled because Onni Tommila is a fantastic young actor who can give some wonderful glares whilst also embracing the over the top nature of both the action and dialogue. In fact whilst "Big Game" features big name starts such as Samuel L. Jackson, Ray Stevenson, Jim Broadbent and Victor Garber it is Onni Tommila who is the star of this movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Big Game" is a bit of a mixed bag of ideas, styles and acting. But although it left me unsure as to whether it all worked as one it still entertained with an enjoyable performance from Onni Tommila and the sort of over the top action which despite making me groan also entertained.