When 13-year-old Finnish boy Oskari (Tommila) is sent out into the wilderness to hunt to show his transition from boy to man to his father, he gets something of a surprise when he stumbles upon the President Of The United States (Jackson) instead of a nice friendly deer. It seems the President’s plane was shot down, but not before he jettisoned out of it in an escape pod, and now it’s up to Oskari to deliver the most powerful man in the world back to civilisation. Trouble is, the bad guys who shot the Air Force One down are on the ground and hunting him, too.
A sort of junior Die Hard that can’t make up its mind whether it’s aimed at tweens or adults (there’s some minor bad language and violence), this benefits from some stunning Bavarian scenery but suffers from a ridiculous plot even younger viewers will roll their eyes at. There’s the silly inclusion of a chest freezer as plot point/getaway vehicle (have movie makers learnt nothing from the fridge in Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull?) and the even dafter addition of Jim Broadbent as a sandwich-munching American intelligence expert.
Other supporting cast members, meanwhile, wander around aimlessly chewing the scenery, from Victor Garber as the vice president, to Felicity Huffman as the director of the CIA, while Jackson himself looks increasingly uncomfortable appearing at all (and remember, this is the man who made Snakes On A Plane). Tommila, on the other hand, is suitably monosyllabic as the teen stuck out in the woods trying to prove he’s a man, even if he is so serious that we don’t get much of an opportunity to care about him and his journey.
A missed opportunity to make a fun action thriller for viewers too young to see the classics (Die Hard, Speed, etc).
Is Big Game suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Oskari and the President are often in peril but at no time do you really feel they are in any danger.
There is some swearing and violence, with quite a few people killed as the plane is attacked.