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Jack O'Connell has become quite a busy actor between Starred Up, Unbroken, and '71. Having not seen Starred Up or Broken, I look forward to checking those out soon. This film surely gives a glimpse of his skills in a leading role, but I wish that I could have gotten more than just this glimpse. I was waiting for a break-through moment by O'Connell and I never really got it. Sure, he had to act in a very physical manner as a broken-down soldier and sure, he was great at doing it. Yet, I was really hoping for some strong dialogue rather than just a wimpy and lost soldier. I guess this was to help the audience sympathize with the main character, but at times I really just wanted him to get up and fight rather than just whine. Maybe I am just not into movies so realistic. Thanks Hollywood for making acting and filmmaking so hard!
While I couldn't quite fall in love with the acting and storyline, I did find the technical aspects of this film superb. As an extremely jumpy movie-watcher I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. During a riot scene the camera movement was so shaky and nauseating that I could feel my stomach twist and turn as if I was on the frontline. The overall movement of the camera is very fluid and constant. Furthermore as someone with a radio show based around film music, I must say that the soundtrack is surreal, fitting the action in the film very well. I think I am going to stop this review here in fact so I can go and listen to that soundtrack one more time...
The Bottom Rhyme: The acting felt meh, the filmmaking quick, check out this movie and tell me if you get a kick.
Its been a while, but I have resurfaced with a viewing of a movie that I have wanted to see for quite some time now. After seeing Rare Exports for a class on Scandinavian cinema, I instantly became interested in Jalmari Helander's directing talents. His tone is very unique and right up my alley when it comes to action/horror. Similarly to Rare Exports, Big Game combines a cheesy script with some grand special effects. However, Big Game does not live up to Rare Exports, which is a clever and fully engaging film.
When I saw that Samuel L. Jackson was playing a presidential role, I was sold on the film. SLJ is definitely one of the greatest actors alive today so I try to catch all of his roles no matter how crazy they seem. Overall he was decent in this film, but only really caught my critical attention during one scene where he literally tells a story about peeing his pants. The story truly showed off his acting potential, but the rest of his lines throughout the film just made me chuckle the whole time. Honestly, I can't tell how funny this film was supposed to be. Putting Samuel L. Jackson aside, Onni Tommila does a great job in his coming-of-age role. Also, the all-star cast of other side characters creates a fun time.
Helander still makes a pretty film to watch even if the characters are flat and the plot is dumbed down to the maturity of Tommila's character. Combining close-ups and long shots, the audience gets to see a "Finnish" landscape while also focusing on individual characters. Leaving that aside, the special effects are just glorious. From falling out of planes to dodging missiles in the air, the action really pops out at the viewers. Yet, there was one point that seemed a bit too green-screeny to me, but maybe it could work for others.
The Bottom Line: This is what you get when you combine Air Force One with an old James Bond film.
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