Big Game is by no means a good movie but as a lower budget version of Air Force One or any number of action-adventure flicks from the early 90s, it’s semi-entertaining and a film that’s probably more geared towards teenagers. But the cast is impressive enough and although Samuel L. Jackson isn’t his over-the-top self, he does have a couple amusing scenes.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure
Anchor Bay | PG13 – 87 min. – $26.99 | August 25, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
Big Game is a big dumb action-thriller and yet it’s heck of an entertaining flick through and through thanks in part to the filmmakers and its respectable cast not taking itself overly seriously and strangely the target audience is more in the ‘tweens than anyone older.
On his way to the G8 Summit flying over Finland on Air Force One, President William Moore (SAMUEL L. JACKSON) is attacked by a shoulder-to-air missile launched by terrorist Hazar (MEHMET KURTULUS) and thanks to Secret Service Agent Morris (RAY STEVENSON), the countermeasures onboard have been disabled. Morris gets the President into the escape pod, launching it out the back and sending fellow agents with cut parachutes out to their deaths. He himself goes out, with a proper parachute, as the plane is attacked and blown up.
On the ground is Oskari (ONNI TOMMILA), a young boy sent by his father and village on his for rite of passage manhood; to kill an animal as proof. As he travels on an ATV through the forest, he outruns the crashing AFO and following the chaos, comes upon the President’s escape pod who gives Oskari the code to unlock it. After some initial, and cute skepticism, Oskari helps the President but not before accomplishing his task of hunting down his prey to bring back to his father. However, on their trail are Hazar and Morris intent not on killing the President but capturing him for far more nefarious purposes one involving making him a martyr while Hazar hilariously wants to make him his trophy and stuff him(!). It’s at that point I knew they weren’t taking this already ridiculous plot seriously…
In any case, now Oskari and Moore must outrun the terrorists and in between we do get some adequately shot action scenes and some relatively impressive visual effects all things considered.
There’s really not much to Big Game and clocking in at 87-minutes, it’s a breezy action flick. The cast is actually quite respectable from Samuel L. Jackson who more or less is subdued but has a couple funny lines, Victor Garber makes an appearance or two a quasi Joe Biden like Vice President, Jim Broadbent was an odd choice as an analyst, while both Ted Levine and Felicity Huffman both have throwaway roles though each bring some weight to otherwise worthless characters.
I actually was relatively entertained by Big Game not that it’s a particularly good movie but it’s a fine way to spend 80-some-odd minutes. As I said, the action is well shot and the visual effects for what I assume was a lower budget production was rather impressive and at least looked passable versus the crap VFX seen on the SyFy Channel.
The film was written and helmed by Finnish director Jalmari Helander marking his first English-language feature and seems like a good choice showcasing the beautiful landscape, lensed by Mika Orasmaa, of Finland where the film was shot.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0/5
This release comes with a reflective slip cover. Unfortunately no features were included save for Unrated Cut (1:30:37; HD) which is a few minutes longer but only sports a Dolby Digital 2.0 track.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Big Game flies in onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). Although it’s not the prettiest transfer, details were comparatively well done albeit not overly sharp while colors appear to be well balanced and tend to be bright and have a nice pop off the screen.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The movie comes with a nicely balanced Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track which is surprisingly robust and comes to life early on with the crash sequence while also providing crisp and clear dialogue levels. The rear channels are mostly used for ambient noises while the front speakers are used for other elements such as gunshots.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Big Game is by no means a good movie but as a lower budget version of Air Force One or any number of action-adventure flicks from the early 90s, it’s semi-entertaining and a film that’s probably more geared towards teenagers. But the cast is impressive enough and although Samuel L. Jackson isn’t his over-the-top self, he does have a couple amusing scenes. The Blu-ray released by Anchor Bay offers good video and audio transfers but lacks any bonus material.
Brian Oliver aka The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.