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Review: Big Game

July 10, 2015

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Big Game PosterWho knew that one of the best “protecting the American president” films would come from Finland?  But Big Game is a lot of fun, and more than able to hold its own alongside many of the summer blockbusters being released.  After premiering during Midnight Madness at TIFF last year, the film opens this weekend.

Sent out to prove himself as a man on his thirteenth birthday by shooting a deer with a bow and arrow, young hunter Oskari (Onni Tomilla) stumbles upon President William Moore (Samuel L. Jackson) in the middle of the wilderness in Finland, after Air Force One is taken down by terrorists.

With the bad guys hot on their trail, the young teenager becomes the only one who can protect the most powerful man in the world, in classic “kid power” fashion.  Director Jalmari Helander does a fine job of staging this all in the form of a throwback to summer afternoon entertainment from a few decades ago, and Big Game works quite well as both loving homage and decidedly modern popcorn film.  Yes, the low budget special effects and mostly one dimensional villains sometimes veer into campiness, but this is all part of the film’s simple charm.

With the violence never exceeding a certain level, and the feel of something that Amblin Entertainment could have produced back in the 1980s, Big Game is a ridiculously entertaining coming of age thriller, that deserves a wider audience of both young teens and adults.  It’s poised for cult classic status.

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