So Bad It's Laughable

Big Game proves bad action movie cliches never go out of style

Big Game proves bad action movie cliches never go out of style

If we movie lovers are honest with ourselves, there are many times when our favorite memories involve films that are pretty dumb, especially when it comes to 1980s action movies. Most of them are chock-full of cheesy lines, over-the-top sequences and ridiculous plots, demerits that are forgotten because of the awesomeness of the stars or certain memorable scenes.

Big Game could fit right in with those not-so-great ’80s flicks, except it’s actually a new movie starring Samuel L. Jackson as William Moore, aka the president of the United States. On a trip to the G8 Summit in Europe, terrorists on the ground in Finland, with the help of a rogue Secret Service agent (Ray Stevenson) onboard, shoot down Air Force One, but not before Moore gets away in an escape pod.

Moore lands in a remote wilderness area, close to where a young teenager, Oskari (Onni Tommila), has been sent by his father to prove his mettle as a hunter. With the terrorists hot on their trail, Moore has no choice but to trust Oskari and hope his nascent hunting skills will be enough to save them both.

Written and directed by Finnish filmmaker Jalmari Helander, it’s obvious that either he had no qualms about paying homage to the worst tropes from American movies, or he actually mistook them for good filmmaking. Whatever the case, Helander loaded the film with every action movie cliché he could think of, making a film that’s so bad that it’s actually somewhat enjoyable as a comedy.

It has it all: horrible one-liners, impossible physical maneuvers, poor special effects and an ending that goes so far beyond expectations that even Michael Bay would look at it and say, “You might want to tone it down a bit.”

What’s even more shocking than the awfulness of the movie is the level of talent that agreed to participate in it. You can’t count Jackson, as he seems to take roles purely for a paycheck all the time. But Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, Felicity Huffman and Victor Garber really should have no excuses.

Although the absurdity of the events in the film does provide some fleeting entertainment, there’s almost nothing else of worth in Big Game. If you choose to go, you only have yourself to blame.

Onni Tommila and Samuel L. Jackson in Big Game
Onni Tommila and Samuel L. Jackson in Big Game. Photo courtesy of EuropaCorp
Ray Stevenson, Mehmet Kurtulus and cast from Big Game
Ray Stevenson, Mehmet Kurtulus and other cast from Big Game. Photo courtesy of EuropaCorp
Victor Garber, Felicity Huffman, Jim Broadbent and Ted Levine in Big Game
Victor Garber, Felicity Huffman, Jim Broadbent and Ted Levine in Big Game. Photo courtesy of EuropaCorp
Onni Tommila and Samuel L. Jackson in Big Game
Ray Stevenson, Mehmet Kurtulus and cast from Big Game
Victor Garber, Felicity Huffman, Jim Broadbent and Ted Levine in Big Game