I had been excited about this film. The trailers made The Snowman look like an exciting, thrill ride with a mysterious killer.
Instead, we got a dull, insipid piece of crap.
I had seen the Rotten Tomatoes score prior to going, and knew it was low, but I did avoid the reviews because I had hoped that maybe the film would be better than it seemed.
Nope. Just garbage.
Michael Fassbender played Harry Hole… let me say that again… his character’s name is actually Harry Hole. Harry is a drunk, waking up in locations around the city with empty Vodka bottles in his hand. His life is a mess, but apparently, he was a great detective/cop at one point. Not that we see this ever… and I mean ever. Instead, we are told once… and only once. Any way, he becomes involved in a case where a serial killer is killing people and then is leaving a snowman behind at the crime scene.
The story becomes needlessly convoluted and yet completely idiotic. There are so many failures in this plot, with massive plot holes and lack of character motivation.
Let’s start with the unfortunately named Harry Hole. We know almost zero about him. We know the basic fact that he is a drunk, but other than that, we know of no reason why to cheer him on, outside of the fact that he is Michael Fassbender and the lead of the movie. Fassbender is capable of some great performances, however, this is not one of them. I don’t know if he knew how bad this was and just phoned it in, but he is sincerely unremarkable.
There is a solid cast here, but there is nothing notable about any of the performances. No one elevated the material from the shit stain that it was.
I have made this complaint before, but the SECOND the character who was eventually revealed to be the killer walked into the scene, I knew he was the Snowman. No mystery about it…no doubt in my head. Whenever a film is so painfully obvious, it is a clear sign that the film is poor.
However, Harry Hole could not see the clear signs as he continued to investigate the case. I am not sure why people seemed to think this character was more than just another drunk cop.
There was a strange and pointless cameo with Val Kilmer. Kilmer’s voice was dubbed, and dubbed poorly. Why was it dubbed? I did not know. What I did know was I saw zero reason for this character to be in the movie. You could have easily edited the scenes with Kilmer in them out of the film without losing anything. I even thought that perhaps I dozed through part of his scenes because I did not know what the importance of them were.
Oh, and J.K. Simmons is in this movie too. He played a character named Arve Stop and, from what I can tell, his only purpose in the movie is to be a red herring. There are several “characters” that are there to be red herrings, simple plot devices.
Now, let’s talk a minute about the third act conclusion. The first two acts were boring, but the third act was so inanely stupid and insulting that it made me desperate to see the film end. There were literally several times where I laughed out loud in moments that the film meant to be suspenseful. Not a good sign.
This movie was adapted from Jo Nesbø’s best selling novel, but I am guessing that there are MAJOR parts of the story left out, because the film does not make much sense and feels like a sketch of a film. Tomas Alfredson, the director of the great tense thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, doesn’t come anywhere near that classic with this steaming pile of crap.
Such a tremendous disappointment. One of the worst films of the year. At first, I was going to give this around 1.2 stars, but, upon reflection, I realized this film did not deserve such a high star rating. If I thought about it more, it might have gone lower yet. But for now…