Thirteen-year-old Oskari (Onni Tommila) is taking part in a rite of passage in the Finnish woods when he discovers the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) when Air Force One was shot down overhead. Together they must survive the forest and the men who are out to kill the president.
Big Game is funny, though you’re not always sure if it’s being intentionally funny or if it’s the typical genre tropes and sometimes cheesiness coming into play. That being said, the dialogue is often witty and the action sequences are spectacular.
One of the highlights of Big Game is the relationship between the President and Oskari. They are both thrown together but become friends and save each other along the way. They have great chemistry and a scene in which the President tells a disheartened Oskari how proud he is of him is quite touching. Oskari’s journey from a boy trying to prove himself to his father and the people of his village to being the one person who is trying to help the President is great and Tommila is a very talented young actor. Playing against his now typical badass-self, Jackson’s President is often defenceless without Oskari and can’t stand up to the bad guys in a fight.
The bad guys are quite typical of the genre and are often easy to spot but there’s also surprises and so many of the cast look as if they’re having such a good time it’s hard to dislike the film just for that.
Big Game is 90 minutes of fun and there’s a lot packed into it but it never feels slow or bloated. Big Game is the best of the fun action films from the 80’s and 90’s. It may have some text-book type characters but it’s also got great action sequences and fun dialogue. 4/5.