Susan Granger’s review of “Big Game” (Relativity/EuropaCorp)
En route to a peace conference in Helsinki, Air Force One is attacked from within by turncoat Secret Service Agent Morris (Ray Stevenson), who pushes the unpopular, ineffectual President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) into an escape pod to crash into Finland’s frozen wilderness.
Meanwhile, 13 year-old Oskari (Onni Tommila), son of a renowned hunter, has embarked on a traditional rite-of-passage, spending 24 hours alone in Lapland’s rugged terrain, armed only with a bow and arrow. What he hunts and kills on this walkabout in the wild will prove what kind of man he is.
Witnessing the fiery crash, timid but determined Oskari discovers the wreckage and promises to lead President William Moore to safety, declaring, “My forest, my rules.” But it’s not that easy.
But Morris, who parachuted to safety, and co-conspirator Hazar (Mehmet Kurtulus), the illegitimate son of a Gulf oil sheik, are on their trail, since psychopathic Hazar considers POTUS his ultimate trophy.
Back in Washington, D.C., the incredulous Vice-President (Victor Garber) sputters, “You’re telling me you lost the President like you lose a set of car keys?”
Not surprisingly, he and the Pentagon intelligence officers (Felicity Huffman, Ted Levine) declare Air Force One’s disappearance “the most serious terrorist act since 9/11,” dispatching an experienced senior field analyst (Jim Broadbent) to lead a Special Forces unit on a rescue mission.
Concocted by Finnish writer/director Jalmari Helander (“Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale”) from an improbable story by Helander and Petri Jokirita, this ridiculous action-adventure blithely combines thriller elements from “Air Force One,” “Cliffhanger,” “Escape From New York” and “White House Down.”
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Big Game” is an escapist 6, destined for popularity on the Netflix queue.