SISU – Film Review

SISU – Film Review
by Fran Winston

Directed by: Jalmari Helander
Starring: Jorma Tommila, Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan, Mimosa Willamo

In cinemas May 19th

So many movies have been made about Word War II that at this stage it is hard to find a new angle. Somehow Helander manages it though. Using the backdrop of the Lapland war, which was a conflict that took place between Finland and Nazi Germany from September to November 1944, this is actually an action flick that happens to be set in that era rather than a war film.

With surprisingly little dialogue, which will surely help with the film’s international appeal, it follows a gold prospector Aatami Korpi (Tommila) who is fortunate enough to find a significant amount of the precious metal. Unfortunately, as he attempts to make it to the nearest town with his score, he encounters a German death squad.

However, he isn’t your average prospector, he is a former commando. And when the Nazis attempt to steal his treasure he refuses to give it up without a fight. What follows is a battle of wills, strength and cunning as he takes out those who would seek to do him harm while protecting his haul.

This isn’t very heavy on plot. It knows that it is outlandish and nonsensical, and it runs with it. This is partly what makes it so entertaining. Korpi is killing Nazis simply for the sake of killing Nazis because they crossed him, and it’s actually fun to watch these feared predators get exactly what they deserve in the most gruesome way possible.

Helander goes heavy on the gore, but because it’s approached in an almost comic-book fashion, it raises a giggle rather than groans. Indeed, it would be fabulously fun in 3D as there is no shortage of limbs flying asunder during this movie.

This film is influenced by the big action movies of the 80s in which not much happened but our hero managed to find a reason to kill people in outlandish ways for two hours. It is extremely entertaining and despite the gruesome nature of some scenes, it leaves you with a smile on your face. Tommila manages to bring surprising depth to Korpi, especially given the lack of dialogue and you root for him throughout. It’s no surprise that he was awarded Best Actor at the Sitges Film Festival. Indeed, the movie won another three awards there.

Probably not one for the squeamish, this is a wild rollercoaster ride of ridiculously outlandish kills and a classic ‘good guy versus the bad guys’ scenario. It is great fun and fantastic escapism which is extremely cleverly executed, and it should definitely be on your watch list.




Categories: Header, Movie Review, Movies

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