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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Biggest message is about courage under fire -- don't give up just because the odds are against you, and find the strength to face your enemies and help others, even if it means endangering yourself.
Positive Role Models
Oskari is brave and refuses to run away from trouble to save himself. He rescues, protects and helps the president, even though his own life is on the line. The president helps his new friend and tries to protect him from his pursuers.
Violence & Scariness
Strong violence and a high body count. People die in airplane explosions, are thrown off of planes and helicopters, get shot in the heart with an arrow, and are killed at gunpoint or with a rocket-propelled grenade-type of weapon. Men beat up the president and a 13-year-old boy who's helping him. The boy has a dead deer's head strapped to his backpack throughout part of the movie.
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Infrequent strong language includes "s--t," "ass," "damn," and one notable "motherf--ker."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Big Game is a violent action-adventure movie in the spirit of Air Force One or Die Hard, but with a 13-year-old as the hero. Directed by a Finnish filmmaker, the movie is set in Finland's remote wilderness, where a boy finds the president of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) trapped in an escape pod. Expect frequent violence, use of advanced weapons, and a high body count, mostly from gunshot wounds and explosions. The language is infrequently strong but does include "s--t" and one use of "motherf---ker." Families who watch it with middle school-aged kids and up can discuss rites of passage, courage under fire, and how young people can save the day. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If you've ever wondered what a Die Hard-style movie would be like with a butt-kicking teen as the hero, this is it. It's slightly ridiculous, generally unbelievable, but undeniably entertaining action adventure starring a young Finnish actor and a mellower-than-usual Jackson. BIG GAME requires a lot of suspension of disbelief ... and occasionally feels like a testosterone-spiked commercial for Finland -- "home of men so manly that even the 13-year-olds can single-handedly save a United States president."
But the chemistry between Tommila and Jackson is surprisingly good, and despite Tommila's thickly accented English, he manages to give a nuanced performance as a boy desperate to prove he's as tough as his father and grandfather -- but also someone who's willing to help a (powerful) stranger, even if it means risking his life. Jackson is much quieter and considerably less scowly than he usually is, and it works. The plot line is rather predictable and the score overwrought, but despite the movie's occasionally over-the-top nuttiness -- usually in the form of a billionaire terrorist (Mehmet Kurtulus), who at one point announces he wants to kill, freeze, stuff, and mount the president like his other hunting trophies -- this is the kind of action movie that makes for a fabulous guilty pleasure pick.
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