Big Game: Review


Samuel L. Jackson IS the President. All the marketing for latest action flick, Big Game, has revolved around that tagline. It’s  as if the film-makers have assumed that the one line will be enough for somebody to judge whether they want to see it or not, and they’re probably right. Whilst the tagline doesn’t have the same ring to it as, lets say, Samuel L. Jackson IS on a PLANE with SNAKES, you still know what to expect when he plays the President – and that isn’t a West Wing-type drama.

 Jackson, who has a strange habit of appearing in a lot of rubbish, bottom-shelf tosh, as well as big budget action movies, is on gloriously silly top form in Big Game, which falls somewhere inbetween garbage and fun. 

The plot, which we’ve seen recycled many times before, sees Jackson’s President being hunted through the woods of Finland, after Air Force One is shot down by a group of terrorists. Luckily, he bumps into newly turned thirteen year old, Oskari, who is also on the hunt for some big game, as a rite of passage within in his village. The two form an unlikely bond, as they help eachother evade the baddies.

Wearing its influences boldly and proudly, Big Game pays homage to the action films of the late 80’s and early 90’s. There’s a little bit of Die Hard in it, but it never comes remotely close to capturing the same level of fun as those it tries to replicate. The action sequences are actually quite sporadic, short, and sweet – offering very little in terms of originality or memorability. 

Big Game may not be memorable, but it is familiar. It doesn’t try to do anything different and everybody involved seems to know exactly what it is – silly, popcorn fodder. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t put a smile on my face, especially when Jim Broadbent showed up with a dodgy American accent. When we’re introduced to his character he’s chewing a burger, the starter before the main course that is the film’s scenery.

It may be dumb rubbish, but if you were to stumble across Big Game on late night television, you’d get along with it just fine. It’s b-movie fun at its best, just as long as you leave your brain at the door. One, slight criticism is its poor ending, but then can anybody say sequel? Big Game 2: BIGGER GAMER perhaps? 

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