Director: Tomas Alfredson
Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) tries to put aside his drink and relationship problems by replacing them with a missing persons case in Oslo. He hijacks Katrine Brat’s (Rebecca Ferguson) investigation and the two set about the case to locate the missing Birte Becker (Genevieve O’Reilly). All the usual players are in the frame as being involved, husbands, politicians to name a few, so it’s up to our leads to crack the case.
Michael Fassbender is a safe pull for a film such as this but he deserves a whole lot better in terms of direction. He spends large parts of this film going in circles and looking terminally without purpose. I think perhaps it was playing on his mind that his character’s name was Hole. I know this was based on a successful book but come on! Hole has to be the most unfortunate name a character can have been given.
Rebecca Ferguson, unfortunately, suffers the same fate as Fassbender. Most things I’ve seen her in she’s acquitted herself very well but she needs to be given better to work with. The film’s overall lack of structure and direction means as a result her work is made to look below standard.
J.K. Simmons really just makes up the numbers in his role as the administrator trying to bring in a large sporting event to Oslo. Of course, there’s a dark, seedy side to his character but it’s not really investigated to any real sort of depth.
Val Kilmer deserves a special mention as the only shining in light in The Snowman. It’s only a small part but that makes the pleasure of seeing him back on-screen and playing a troubled and eccentric character no less worthy of analysis. His few moments would bring a wry smile if only they weren’t in such dark circumstances.
We’ve already established that this based on a best-selling book. With that in mind the book must be so much better than the film by some distance and as such the film does not pay it any respect with its output. In my cast round-up I’ve already mentioned that poor direction is rife throughout this movie. The plot has its only real red herring crow barred in the most unsubtle manner and it leaves you thinking they’ve accidentally taped over part of the movie with another one like you used to do back in the days of VHS! I left the cinema after it’s hugely anti-climatic finish thinking to myself that the film was just a complete nonsensical and muddled mess of a thriller, if you can call it a thriller. I experienced no tension or suspense throughout and it felt like a really weak TV movie.
The Verdict: 2/5 Stars – The Snowman is not walking in the air, rather more in meltdown.