Every now and then, a film comes along that is so dumb, but so enjoyable that I tell everybody I know that they have to see it. A film with a ridiculous plot, ridiculous action, maybe even a ridiculous trailer, that makes you ask ‘how did they survive that?’, but you’re having so much fun you just don’t care. The Fast and the Furious franchise has shown that you can build a billion dollar franchise around these over the top but brilliant action films. Big Game is not one of these films.
The concept is simple. Air Force One gets attacked, and the American president gets ejected into a forest in Finland. Here he meets a young boy, who is trying to prove that he can hunt to his father. Together they have to escape and out run one of the president’s body guards (the most evil-looking one, of course) and a team of scary looking mercenaries who want him dead because reasons. How could this not be great?
Well, it’s just not fun. I can’t really put my finger on what it is that Big Game gets wrong, but there’s a lot that it doesn’t get right. For a film with such a ridiculous set up, it doesn’t embrace how silly it could be, instead taking itself fairly seriously until near the end, where these moments feel out-of-place. The bad guys all look the part, and even have some good threatening moments early on, but they quickly lose any presence they have on-screen.
Somehow I managed to both have no expectations for Big Game, and be disappointed by it, which is really quite something, and it’s not even that bad. Some of the action is fun, but there’s not that much else on offer.
(Spoilers in the next paragraph)
I do admire one thing about this film. At the end, there’s a twist, and putting it simply, one of the bad guys doesn’t die, get caught, or really anything else. I admire that a film that so clearly wasn’t going to get a sequel did this, so that’s something I guess?
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