REVIEW: The Snowman
Directed by Tomas Alfredson
By Christopher Spencer
Directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), The Snowman stars Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chloe Sevigny, with Val Kilmer, and J.K. Simmons. A series of murders are occurring in Oslo, Norway, and unorthodox detective Harry Hole (Fassbender) teams up with headstrong recruit Katrine Bratt (Ferguson) in order to find out what’s going on, and put an end to “The Snowman” before he kills again.
Honestly, you’ve heard this story before. It is very nearly every detective movie ever. What’s different about The Snowman to those movies? Absolutely nothing except for a few great actors in the cast. Maybe a bit of the camera shots lingering on Scandinavian mountains. That’s it.
I love Michael Fassbender and even an actress like Rebecca Ferguson has really proven herself ever since breaking out in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. But both extremely talented actors, as well as J.K. Simmons and even a due-for-a-comeback Val Kilmer, are lost in a sea of clichés, plotholes, awful editing, nonsensical writing, and utter confusion on almost every level.
I can’t even say that Fassbender and Ferguson even are able to give good performances when all they’re given is pointless scenes, abrupt actions without logic, and set-piece after set-piece ripped straight from many, many better movies. The Snowman could have been something that worked; a dark, Norwegian tale of responsibility, truth and blind dedication. In fact, this film would have been brilliant had a mass overhaul of the script be commissioned and a director like David Fincher or Denis Villeneuve be brought in.
This is not to discredit someone like Tomas Alfredson. In the past, he has created thematically challenging and unique films, but this is assuredly not the cast for The Snowman. Even the director himself has pointed out that it was a mess to shoot and edit, and the movie just doesn’t make sense to even the people who made it.
Honestly, do not watch The Snowman. It barely tries to be a competent thriller, burying itself under some BS greater plot of a bid for the “Winter Sports World Cup”. If your kind of movie is one that throws in fake suicides, murdering plastic surgeons, long diversions on nothing side-characters, the worst ADR this side of The Room, and just weird, downright bizarre interactions for EVERY character, then The Snowman is right up your alley. If you have a brain and want to use it well, stay away from this movie which is as well-put together as a jumper knitted by a blind person with no hands.