Movie Big Game is a big deal in Finland
REVIEW - FILM – Big Game is a Finnish movie with entertaining action and real adventure. As a Finnish production, the film has an international cast and a huge budget.
Jalmari Helander is a Finnish film director and scriptwriter. At the age of only 38 he directed one of the biggest movies in the history of Finland, Big Game, which had its premiere in Finland in March 2015. The last feature film of Helander, Rare Exports came out in December 2010.
In Big Game (hyperlink) the president of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) is flying to a conference in Helsinki. However, he will never make it to the capital of Finland, because a terrorist attack whisks the president off to the middle of a forest in Northern Finland.
In the forest the president is confronted with the 13-year-old Finnish boy Oskar (Onni Tommila). Oskar is in the woods to fulfil an initiation rite. He has a hunt game with only an arrow as a weapon so that he will become a real hunter like the other men in his family. Oskar was planning to catch a deer, but he ends up helping the president of the United States to survive the threat of the terrorists.
The plot itself seems to come straight from a 13-year-old boy´s dream.
Original style and influence of classics
Helander´s style is over the top, the characters are caricatures, the action parts defy the laws of physics and the dialogues are full of cheeky punch lines. Still, Helander is able to create a world which makes the viewer forget reality, and even if you don´t, you will be highly entertained. Helander plays with stereotypes about Finland, the USA and Hollywood films. His movies are also a good way for a non-Finnish person to get into Finnish humour.
Big Game is an entertaining action film that reminds the viewer of the 80´s adventure classics like Indiana Jones and Spies like us. There are the bad guys and the good guys and nothing in between. The idea is not to have deep characters with a connection to real life, more important is to have a good story.
Big Game is a Finnish production but the clip is mostly filmed in Germany. The movie is full of high class Hollywood stars including Samuel L. Jackson, Jim Broadbent and Ray Stevenson, but the main actor is still the Finnish Onni Tommila. Both Onni Tommila and his father Jorma Tommila also acted in Helander´s previous film about the evil Santa, Rare Exports
Big budget and expectations
The budget of the film, €8,500,000, was huge in the Finnish context. In comparison, the budget of Helander´s Rare Exports was €1,948,000. Having a top class cast and a Hollywood budget Helander felt pressure to succeed. The movie had its premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and this far it has had a positive welcome from the audience and critics. Big Game will have its premiere in Belgium on 6 May 2015.
Text: Marie von Bell, Photos: Stephanie Kulbach