Quick Hit: Confusingly edited, stereotypical characters, and a plot that is evident nearly halfway through, this movie is not worth your admission.
I had pretty high hopes for The Snowman, just because I looked at the talent attached to the film. Michael Fassbender normally brings a solid performance, and I’ve never really disliked Toby Jones in something. Seeing Val Kilmer in a film promised something different, and the director is Tomas Alfredson, of the excellent vampire flick Let the Right One In and of the overlong but satisfying Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
However, when you’re main character is Harry Hole, I don’t really know why I expected more. Outside of a few laughs and some decently gruesome images, there’s not much to watch in this film.
Let’s talk about the editing first. The film starts with a killer origin story – ala Psycho. But we then pan to Harry, implying… that he’s the killer? That he shares a bond with the killer? I don’t know. There is a bunch of decisions like this. At one minute we are following Harry as he drinks his way through Oslo, and the next we are seven years prior following Val Kilmer as a different drunk. I see what they were going for, but the execution was terrible.
The acting performances are just as bad as the editing. Fassbender isn’t necessarily terrible, but he’s not good, and one scene in particular that should be filled with emotion comes off extremely disinterested and I’m not really sure why that is. Maybe he’s as bored with the plot, which is filled with a bunch of mean looking snowmen, a killer that seems confused as to what he’s doing, despite being the normal Criminal Minds/CSI/generic crime show smart. Or maybe Fassbender was just as confused by the myriad of subplots that appear and disappear at random, with the story threads not woven in a coherent blanket of story, but instead slapping you in the face like a Cat O’ Nine tails of subplots.
Speaking of bad acting, what happened to Val Kilmer? Somehow, his lines, already delivered strangely, are DUBBED over. I’m not sure if the sound wasn’t working that day, or Kilmer just somehow showed up with a sore throat, but it’s extremely noticeable. Did I mention J. K. Simmons is in this? But somehow has… nothing at all to do with anything, besides being a creep who takes photos of women with his camera in a bizarre but hilarious set of moments.
The movie, which really should have concluded in the same time frame as one of the television episodes, ends in what should be tension but ends up just being ridiculous and laughable. I can’t quite figure out what went wrong here, but Afredson, playing damage control, has stated that 10 to 15 percent of the movie wasn’t shot. That may explain a bit of the problems, but the movie would probably be average at best. I’m only able to give it a “D”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"