Posted on June 25, 2015 at 5:41 pm
Yes, it is basically “Die Hard” and “Under Siege” in the mountains of Finland, if Bruce Willis was a kid on a rite-of-passage solo hunting trip. And instead of executive hostages in a big office building, the kid has to save the President of the United States, who has been ejected from Air Force One in some sort of attack we will learn more about later on.
So, the storyline is far from fresh. But the location is, and it is excitingly filmed and engagingly performed.
Samuel L. Jackson plays President William Allen Moore, en route to a G8-style meeting when his Secret Service officer, Morris (Ray Stevenson) sends him out in a parachute pod to protect him from what appears to be an assassination or kidnap attempt, led by known terrorist-type bad guy and obvious mercenary sociopath Hazar (Mehmet Kurtulus). Meanwhile, back in the Situation Room back home, the vice president (Victor Garber), the head of the CIA (Felicity Huffman), and a national security expert (James Broadbent) are trying to locate and rescue the President.
But you probably suspect that some of the people we are supposed to be trusting will turn out not to be trustworthy, and you are right.
Meanwhile, Oskari (the nicely underplaying Onni Tommila) in on his Finnish walkabout. He is on his own in the wilderness with a bow and arrow, expected to bring home an impressive kill. He is under a lot of pressure, because his father is a legendary hunter. But the bow is nearly as big as he is and the hint his father gave him about where the best spot is to find his prey. But his father’s idea of help was not what Oskari thought. And the big game he found was a guy in a suit who is pretty big stuff in Washington but not so powerful away from home.
Writer/director (and Tommila’s uncle) Jalmari Helander knows Hollywood movies and matches the pacing and tone of the best of the genre. There is nothing new in the twists of the plot, but the relationship between the canny President and the unruffled boy, each with different skills, and the action sequences that are unrealistic but fun keep things entertaining.
Parents should know that this film incudes extended action-style violence, characters injured and killed, themes of treason and assassination, some strong language, and potty humor.
Family discussion: How did Oskari feel when he saw what his father left for him? What was Oskari’s biggest challenge?
If you like this, try: “Masterminds” with Patrick Stewart