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BIG GAME: 2 STARS. “a knowing tribute to the excesses of 80s action movies.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.35.39 PM“Big Game,” the new Samuel L. Jackson President-in-Peril movie, is so cheesy it threatens to raise the viewer’s cholesterol levels to dangerous levels. Fans of 80s action movies, however, may want to pop a Lipitor and risk it. (NOTE: This review does not provide medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor, dial 911 or go see another movie.)

Jackson is William Alan Moore, a POTUS with a problem. The only thing falling faster than his approval ratings is his plane, Air Force One. As he flies over Finland on his way to a political summit a threat is detected and he ejects from the plane to safety. On the ground is a group of terrorists who plan on shooting down the plane and grabbing the president.

Also on the ground, in the mountains, is Oskari (Onni Tommila) a thirteen-year-old boy on the cusp of becoming a man. He is on a traditional rite of passage that sees him alone in the wilderness for twenty-four hours, armed only with a bow and arrow.

In an unlikely turn of events—actually, who am I kidding, in a completely predictable turn of events—Oskari demonstrates his bravery by keeping the president alive despite great odds.

“Big Game” feels like it is a relic from another age. An artefact from the Reagan years, like “Die Hard” with mountains and a plucky teen hero. Or “Cliffhanger” without Sly but with a supporting cast of virile Laplanders. It drips with testosterone, manly clichés and unintentionally funny scenes. It’s the kind of movie where nuance is thrown out the window (usually at a very high height) in favour of big action sequences. That’s fine for a goods popcorn flick, but here the stunts and large set pieces aren’t nearly as wild or silly as the story.

“Big Game” is simultaneously a knowing tribute to the excesses of 80s action movies and an underblown attempt at creating one.

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