Big Game | Film review - Samuel L Jackson pulls off adventure with tongue-in-cheek gusto

Big Game Samuel L Jackson Onni Tommila.jpg
(Image credit: © 2014 Subzero Film Entertainm)
(Image credit: © 2014 Subzero Film Entertainm)

In the snowy wilds of Finland, a 13-year-old boy armed with a bow and arrow proves the unlikely saviour of Samuel L Jackson’s imperilled US president in the uneven but engaging adventure Big Game. Onni Tommila’s youngster, the puny son of a legendary local hunter, is striving to complete a coming-of-age ritual by spending 24 hours alone in the mountains when the president’s escape pod, ejected from Air Force One during an attack, crashes to earth near his camp. With bazooka-wielding terrorists on the duo’s trail, the ensuing action is reliably ridiculous, but Tommila’s plucky boy and Jackson’s hapless president make an amusing double act and the film’s most preposterous scenes – the fugitive pair bouncing and sliding down a mountain inside a freezer, for example - are pulled off with tongue-in-cheek gusto.

Certificate 15. Runtime 90 mins. Director Jalmari Helander.

Big Game is released on DVD & Blu-ray on 21 September by Entertainment One.

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.