Hot Take: One of the worst, poorly edited films of the year with one of the most bizarre casting decisions of all time.
The trailer for The Snowman is intriguing enough. (I guess.) Somehow, though, whether it be the writer, director or editors (I blame all three, well, six since the film had three writers and two editors), this 1 hour and 58 minute snooze fest is more cliche than most and delivers an incoherent shell game of a plot with a rather uninteresting main character and hardly compelling litany of supporting characters. The only supporting character that even garners any interest is a vastly different looking Val Kilmer who may have been battling oral cancer which could explain why it sounds like they dubbed someone else’s voice over his but doesn’t quite explain why his face looks so oddly different.
A film as bad as The Snowman makes you really wonder why some films get made. When reading director Tomas Alfredson’s explanation of why the film has problems, you get even more puzzled. According to Alfredson, the shoot time in Norway was too short and they walked away with 15% of the screenplay not shot. “It’s like when you’re making a big jigsaw puzzle and a few pieces are missing so you don’t see the whole picture,” said Alfredson. Yikes! How does that happen? My concern as a moviegoer is that some producers or production companies just assume getting a film into theaters is enough to make a little bit of money because fans of the actors will see it and some will just go because it’s there. With a rather average $35 million budget, it’s unknown if the missing 15% could pull this thing together but it was rather obvious watching the 85% of the film that was shot that it surely wasn’t enough to put together anything worth watching.
There’s really nothing that works with The Snowman. That’s a monumental achievement when you consider the film has a cast featuring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, J.K. Simmons, Toby Jones, Charlotte, Gainsbourg, Chloe Sevigny and a hardly recognizable Val Kilmer. Director Tomas Alfredson’s resume isn’t bad either. Even cinematographer Dion Beebe has a pedigree. There’s even a successful novel to play off of (which the film inexplicably veers completely in another direction from). It’s really hard to fathom how a film that has so much going for it can be as disastrous as The Snowman is. There’s absolutely no reason to see this outside of morbid curiosity to see just how badly it was all put together. If you have 2 hours of your life to waste, be my guest. Just remember, you’re never getting it back.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- I’ll Come Back When I Think Of Something
I don’t think I’ll be coming back.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- You’ll Be Asking Yourself “Why?” A Lot
There are so many odd twists and turns that don’t make sense. Part of the problem might be due to the fact the novel is one of a series of novels featuring main character Harry Hole (See, you just asked yourself why give a character such a ridiculous name, didn’t you?) and we’re expected to know his back story. However, his story — he’s a homicide detective, he’s a drunk and he can’t hold together a relationship but still wants to bond with the kid of his ex — isn’t that complicated. That’s not likely the root cause of all the whys but instead a choice to make a film that hardly ever makes sense.