PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure
Review - Matt Mungle
BIG GAME in theaters, on VOD and iTunes on June 26th
Synopsis: In the rugged countryside of Finland, a young thirteen-year-old (Onni Tommila) embarks on a traditional quest to prove himself by spending 24 hours alone in the wild, armed with only a bow and arrow. After witnessing a spectacular crash, he discovers the escape pod from Air Force One, containing the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson). When they realize a group of kidnappers is hot on their trail with the intention of taking the president, this unlikely duo must escape their hunters as they search for the American Special Forces team sent out to find them.
Review: There are some standout elements to this film that make it a solid watch. The question of course is does it have the uumph to stand up to the summer blockbusters or is it best served as a VOD streaming item. The answer is yes to both. The film looks great, the script is pretty solid and you can't beat Samuel L. Jackson as President. Here he is being "rescued" by a 13 year old but Jackson still has the swagger to give the Commander In Chief some attitude.
Another selling point is that even though a main cast member is a kid it is not a kid movie. At first glance you get the feeling they are playing to the young Hunger Games crowd. Even though there is plenty for them to latch on to, the action, dialogue, and thrills are adult enough to give it older audience appeal. This is a serious rescue mission and a mad dash for our government to find and save our leader. Possible Secret Service moles, terrorism, and the concept of humans being hunted elevate the playing field.
The film also looks great. The landscape and action sequences are big screen worthy. There are a few green screen moments but for the most part it top notch cinematography. Tommila does ok in the role. It is hard to ever critique a kid actor and you want to find nice things to say. His character is written with some teenage drama and at times it feels like he is forcing the angst. Luckily he has Jackson as a screen partner to help keep him in check. Your attention is drawn to Samuel in most scenes and it will divert you from any bad acting going on.
The supporting cast is impressive and adds serious chops and recognizable faces. Ray Stevenson (Divergent, Thor), Victor Garber (Titanic, Argo), Felicity Huffman ("Desperate Housewives") and Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter series, Gangs of New York) round out director Jalmari Helander's all-star cast.
BIG GAME is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some language. As mentioned before it would pass on the big screen but may also be a more perfect renter. Your older teens may like the idea of having a more adult film star one of their own and parents will never feel talked down to. I give it 3 out of 5 missing shoes. Mainly it is great seeing Jackson as President; even in this scenario.