An action-packed blend of Mad Max and Inglourious Basterds, Jalmari Helander’s Sisu is a gory, gruesome, and excellent ride.
Plot: When an ex-soldier who discovers gold in the Lapland wilderness tries to take the loot into the city, Nazi soldiers led by a brutal SS officer battle him.
Review: If you saw John Wick: Chapter 4 in the theater, chances are you saw the trailer for Sisu. The brutally bloody teaser showcased the same level of carnage we have expected from David Leitch films like Nobody and Bullet Train, but Sisu is very different. Sisu has a bloodlust that is similar to the feeling one gets when killing Nazis in video games such as Wolfenstein3D, or in zombie movies like Dead Sky, and some you would never have imagined. Lionsgate believes that American audiences will enjoy Sisu- as much as they enjoyedInglourious Basterds and I can confirm this. The film Sisu is a violent and epic journey through the wild Finnish countryside, featuring a badass hero character that earns a place alongside John Wick, and MadMax.Using throwback titles and graphics that evoke exploitation films of the 1960s-70s,
Sisu explains briefly that the title refers a Finnish term that cannot The film begins with a brief history lesson on the Nazis who were driven out of Finland by the Moscow accord. However, this did not stop them from destroying the earth as they fled. We then follow prospector Aatami Corpi (Jorma Tomila), a solitary, married man who digs for gold in a remote area of Lapland. Korpi, armed only with his dog, finds gold and returns to civilization. However he is stopped by a German death squad led by Bruno Helldorf. Korpi kills every Nazi in a violent chase when the troops discover gold. In the short ninety minutes, Sisu manages a lot of action. Sisu has more violence than the trailers suggest. From underwater deaths to explosions and hangings, Sisu features snipers, minefields, motorcycles, airplanes, and even underwater deaths. The desolate landscape of Lapland reminded me of Mad Max: Fury Road, rather than
John Wick. There is some gunplay and hand to hand combat, but the film is much more than what is shown in the trailers. The film features Finnish characters who speak their native language, but all Germans speak English. Jorma Tomila only says eleven words throughout the entire film. Keanu Reeves set a record for the most screen time to dialogue ratio in Johnwick: Chapter 4. Sisu shatters that record. Tommila, 59, does a remarkable job in physically embodying Korpi, and communicating his visceral character through scowls, and a furrowed eyebrow. It is a stellar performance.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Or3GH7slfAThe supporting players here are mostly cannon fodder, with the exception of Aksel Hennie. Hennie is best known for his roles in The Martian, and The Cloverfield Paradox.
Writer/director Jalmari Helander is no stranger to violent action in his movies, having directed the Christmas action-horror movie Rare Exports and the Samuel L. Jackson flick Big Game which co-starred Ommi Tommila. Helander is the brother-in law of Jorma Tomila, who stars in his films. Helander’s film is reminiscent of great movies such as
First Blood, whose main character Rambo shares many similarities with Korpi. In fact, if Rambo had been set during World War II, it likely would have looked a lot like this film. Like First Blood, Sisu is worth watching for more than just the excessive violence. Tommila’s performance as he does all the things from shielding himself with dead Nazis to finding an unsettling way to hold his breathe underwater is absolutely stunning. This type of movie would have been loved by everyone from Kevin Smith to Quentin Tarantino to Robert Rodriguez as a kid, and they would have passed VHS copies around to their friends. This movie is a blast with a fitting retro look and sound courtesy of cinematographer Kjell Lagerroos and composers Juri Seppa and Tuomas Wainoia.While many audiences may shy away from a foreign film because of subtitles, Sisu is almost entirely in English but does not need much dialogue to tell its story. Sisu is brutal, bloody, and awesome. Sisu, which is half the length of John Wick: Chapter 4 , is a nonstop bloodbath. I wanted to watch it again as soon as I finished. This movie may not have any Hollywood stars, but it is worth watching on the biggest screen. So grab some popcorn and a soda and sit back while Nazis get blown away amidst satisfying buckets of blood.10