Meanwhile the president of the USA (Samuel L. Jackson) is on a fairly typical diplomatic visit when Air Force One comes under attack from a small terrorist group, led from within by his personal bodyguard Morris (Ray Stevenson). He is thrown into the escape shuttle and dropped into the forest below as Morris takes out the rest of the security team and the plane before parachuting to safety to meet the terrorists and hunt down the president. This isn’t a spoiler by the way, it happens within the ﬁrst twenty minutes and I’m pretty sure it’s given away in the trailer.
Oskari is drawn into this conspiracy as Air Force One literally crashes down on top of him, destroying the forest and sending the young boy running for his life. As a result, and unfortunately for Morris and the terrorists, Oskari ﬁnds the president ﬁrst and they form an unlikely duo as the conspiracy unveils and they must ﬁght for their lives. I won’t give away any further details of the plot other than to say that it’s kind of weird that we never really ﬁnd out what the big conspiratorial plan really was. Despite coming in at under ninety minutes, which is a rarity in the cinema these days, 'Big Game' manages to feel slow and drawn out. That might be giving away my opinion too early but I’m sorry, 'Big Game' just doesn’t work.
Movies like this only really work two ways, ﬁrstly if they are surprisingly clever, which I’ve already said this falls short of, leaving it’s only other option of being a big ball of over the top action fun. Unfortunately it manages to fall short of this as well, though much like the almost clever plot it feels like it could have very nearly worked on this level. In fact this is probably the problem, the ﬁlm could have been clever or it could have been fun but it tried to be both so the almost clever script gets in the way of the characters just going nuts whilst the silliness of the situation keeps the plot from having any real gravity.
The villains are all just gloriﬁed henchmen in desperate need of some personality. Oskari’s coming of age story arch comes together in a big dramatic realisation that would been more powerful if the audience hadn’t already come to that conclusion themselves within the ﬁrst ﬁfteen minutes of the movie,. The action scenes are few and far between and are all drawn out far too long (seriously, there’s literally only three big action beats, that’s it) and whilst Oskari and the presidents unlikely friendship works nicely and the ﬁnal pay off is kind of heartwarming, the rest of the story is so weak they have nothing to play off of.
As I say this is a ﬁlm that tried to be both clever and fun and collapsed under it’s own ambition, which is a shame considering 'Mad Max: Fury Road' just made doing that look so easy. I don’t think you’ll hate 'Big Game' but it’s hard to imagine you’ll enjoy it all that much either.
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