Big Game (2014)

Big Game (2014)
  • Time: 110 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure
  • Director: Jalmari Helander
  • Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Ray Stevenson, Onni Tommila


When Air Force One is shot down by terrorists leaving the President of the United States stranded in the wilderness, there is only one person around who can save him – a 13-year old boy called Oskari. In the forest on a hunting mission to prove his maturity to his kinsfolk, Oskari had been planning to track down a deer, but instead discovers the most powerful man on the planet in an escape pod. With the terrorists closing in to capture their own “Big Game” prize, the unlikely duo must team up to escape their hunters. As anxious Pentagon officials observe the action via satellite feed, it is up to the President and his new side-kick to prove themselves and survive the most extraordinary 24 hours of their lives.


  • Quickie Review:

    During an attack on the Air Force One, the President (Samuel L. Jackson) is ejected off the plane over the forest of Northern Finland. A young boy Oskari (Onni Tommila), as a rite of passage ventures into the woods for a hunt, but crosses upon the escape pod of the President. Now the two of them must work together to survive being hunted down by the attackers. Big Game should have been a fun, over the top movie. Well… it was definitely over the top, but severely lacking in fun. Although the movie is kept short and simple (fitting for such a premise), it never reaches the full potential of a pop-corn action flick. Even the personality of Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t help the movie. Big Game is a big waste of time with stupid story logic, unlikeable characters, and bland action.

    Full Review:

    Samuel L. Jackson as the president being rescued by a 13-year old. Yea that’s a stupid premise, but hey stupid things can be some good fun, and that’s all I wanted from this movie. I was quickly reminded you can’t always have what you want.

    Luckily Big Game doesn’t take itself too seriously. The movie spends just the right amount time to establish the characters and setting. So at least it had me interested for the first 20mins of the movie. Then they jump right into the main plot, and it’s all downhill from that point.

    There are numerous plot holes in movie. The main villain’s motive is non-sensical. Essentially he is attacking the Air Force One because he is bored and likes to hunt. In that case get Netflix and kill time instead moron! Then there is a CIA specialist played by Jim Broadbent who is so good that he confidently predicts everything that’s about to happen. It’s as if the movie character himself just read the script. I’ll admit they do explain how he can do that in the movie but it will leave you looking like a Jean-Luc Picard facepalm meme. Lot of the humour was unintentional as well. Several times we laughed at the dumb character decisions and movie physics. I guess that’s both a negative and a positive (mainly negative).

    Let’s talk about the action. There is nothing memorable about it, it’s all paint-by-numbers. The scenes that were supposed to be the big set pieces were heavily dependent on CGI, the quality of which is just a notch above Sharknado. The trailers sold the movie as if it was about a badass kid who uses his knowledge of the woods to take on a group of mercenaries. Think Home Alone meets Air Force One, how fun would that be! We could have seen the kid setting up traps, catching the mercenaries completely off-guard, using wit over brawn to defeat the enemies. Nope, none of that. Instead, the majority of the movie is spent on an inexperienced kid and a scared president running away from bullets. It’s not till the last 10mins do we see any real fights.

    Big Game is bad on all accounts: action, characters, and story. After the movie ended my friends are I were coming up with better ideas for the premise, and that shouldn’t be the case. At least the runtime was short, so the best compliment I can give is “I’ve suffered through longer bad movies.” Dear marketing team you can use that quote on the Blu-Ray cover.

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  • Tony Barton

    Big Game is an action movie directed by Jalmari Helander and stars Samuel L Jackson, Ray Stevenson, Onni Tommila. The US President (Jackson) is on board his airliner, Air Force One, when it comes under surface to air missile attack.

    The President is ushered to the escape pod and jettisoned and plummets to earth and comes to rest in the wilds of Finland. The pod is found by a young boy named Oskari (Tommila), who is on a solo hunting trip, to prove his manhood. After several minutes of consideration, Oskari follows the President’s instructions and opens the pod and releases him. After several minutes of questioning the boy finally excepts that the shoeless man standing before him, is, in fact the President of the United States.

    So the most powerful man on the planet has to now place his trust in a thirteen year old boy as they struggle through the wilderness. There problems are just beginning however, as they discover that a committed group of mercenaries, that contains the Presidents head of security, are hot in pursuit.

  • Big Game is not meant to be taken too seriously. A throwback to the ’80s/’90s-era adventure flicks, this second feature by Finnish director Jalmari Helander is eager to please and aims to be nothing more than silly escapist entertainment. Every so often, especially in the final half hour, it succeeds.

    Thirteen-year-old Oskari (Onni Tommila) is taken to the Finnish mountains by his father, a famed hunter. Oskari is meant to undergo a traditional rite of passage wherein he must spend 24 hours in the wilderness alone and return with a trophy. Though Oskari is no Katniss with a bow and arrow, he is determined not to disappoint his father, who seems already resigned that his son is not going to be following in his footsteps.

    Deep into the woods at night, Oskari suddenly finds himself narrowly avoiding an unidentified flying object as it whizzes past. The thing reveals itself to be an escape pod containing a very special passenger. “From what planet are you from?” Oskari asks as the figure comes into view. “I am the President of the United States,” responds William Moore. Moore is played by Samuel L. Jackson, who steps not too far out of his comfort zone to portray a lame duck president who is not exactly a badass extraordinaire.

    The President has just been betrayed by his Secret Service agent Morris (Ray Stevenson), a painkiller-popping traitor bitter over his enforced early retirement. Morris has joined forces with Hazar (Mehmet Kurtulus) who is, as is numerously mentioned, a grade A psychopath who has paid an inordinate sum to literally hunt Moore and make the President his ultimate trophy. As the Pentagon team – comprised of the Vice President (Victor Garber), a CIA terrorist expert (Jim Broadbent), a military general (Ted Levine), and a senior staffer (Felicity Huffman) – huff and puff to locate the President, Oskari must protect the leader of the free world from being captured by Morris and Mehmet.

    Yes, the premise is ludicrous and preposterous. At least Helander is well aware of this as are the cast, who are game and go with the flow of this lighthearted movie. It can certainly be dumb, sometimes not in a good way, but Helander handles all the elements with a sense of fun. One can glean his inspirations – definitely Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, on which this film feels loosely based; and Richard Donner’s The Goonies.

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  • “Not political, not religious. He is just a certified grade-A psychopath.”

    I thought “Why the hell not ?” after seeing the poster of “Big Game”. An adventure film, clearly aimed at a younger audience, with Air Force One crashing down somewhere in a Finnish forest and with the US president trying to saving himself with the help of a Finnish boy who just happens to undergo a local ritual so he can prove himself to the male population. And after I saw that Samuel L. Jackson also took part in this movie as the missing president, I didn’t hesitate for a second. It’s true that Jackson played some minor roles before this (“Oldboy”, “Reasonable Doubt” and “Robocop”), yet I was pleasantly surprised by his last performance in “Kingsman: The secret service”. So I went on the assumption that this was going to be a likable youth film, full of unabashed and not too far-fetched action.

    Boy oh boy. I didn’t expect this to be such a crappy movie full of improbabilities, ridiculous situations and coincidences. Admittedly, it’s indeed aiming for a younger audience, filled with teenage boys, who can have nice dreams that same night after watching such a film and imagine themselves acting as such a hero. But I’m convinced that most of them will shake their heads out of disapproval, while wondering if the makers of this film actually were convinced that they are really so naive.

    First lets start with the positive aspects. The scenery is matchless and breathtaking beautiful. I had no idea that Finland looked like that and I was tempted immediately to choose this country as a destination for my next holiday. Onni Tommila, a youthful Finnish actor, performed properly and does his job as the Finnish guide Oskari remarkably well. The entire film is clearly a homage to earlier films with youthful heroism as a central theme. It’s a kind of film like “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” in which Short Round plays a prominent role or a typical Spielberg film like “Empire of the Sun”. It brings back the nostalgia of fathers going to the cinema with their son to enjoy a cool film for guys. A prerequisite for such films is that the youthful contribution should smoothly transcend the ingenuity of the adults. In other words, the adults are presented as utter fools.

    What bothered me the most about this movie, were the totally absurd situations that arose. I admit, when you look at it from the perspective of a young person and you don’t take it too serious, it comes across as an entertaining movie. A sort of “Home Alone” in a forest, where you’re always a bit smarter and faster than the bad guys. But there are limits. Firstly I would like to purchase the brand of freezer they used here, because I think this high-tech-wonder-equipment is indestructible. Swinging under a helicopter, mowing through the woods, tumbling from a mountain, splashing into a lake and afterwards popping up out of the water like a purebred Russian submarine. And this “undamaged” ! Now that’s what I call solid quality. But beware ! Make sure you don’t end up inside this miracle appliance, because apparently it can’t be opened from the inside. The number of accidental meetings is huge. Coincidentally, the probe with the POTUS is landing where Oskari made his camp. The freezer pops out of the water where Air Force One incidentally crashed. And you just need to follow a suspicious helicopter on satellite, and you end up looking at POTUS. The criminal Hazar (Mehmet Kurtulus) apparently isn’t such a hot-shot criminal afterall, because he doesn’t even know how to load an automatic rifle. And the way the satellite images are used in the Pentagon to follow the president, is just hilarious.

    I admit, It shouldn’t always be that serious and occasionally a lightly youth film is also welcome, but there are limits to follies and ridiculous situations. As a boy I’d fall for this blindly. But as an adult, who started watching this film unprepared, it gradually began to annoy me more and more because of the series of stupidities. The final image full of patriotism and heroism ultimately, was a bit too much for me.

    You gotta cock it, Motherf …. Oops.

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