When we first saw the trailer for The Snowman, we quickly read the Jo Nesbo book it is based on which is part of the Harry Hole book series on a recent holiday, and what a page-turner!
So much so, we now waited in anticipation for the film release even more than the first viewing of that trailer
With its genre known as Scandi-Noir, which has spawned massive TV hits like The Killing and The Bridge, thanks to its source material we really thought this would be the start of Cinema to join in.
Furthermore with a great cast, and director Tomas Alfredson, acclaimed director of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Let The Right One In it is hard to imagine this could be a disaster!
The film starts with a young child seeing his mother beaten by a policeman, which ends in devastating consequences.
We then skip forward to seeing Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) who we learn has lots of battles in his personal life with drink and relationships, but upon receiving a note from a serial killer known as the Snowman, he jumps to action to catch him. We also know he is a hero to the police force, with his case files studied in their academies, yet this is never really explained or gone into.
We also know he is a hero to the police force, with his case files studied in their academies, yet this is never really explained or gone into.
He is assigned a special task force to catch the killer. He is also helped by Katrine (Rebecca Ferguson) who has claimed to be transferred in from another department, but we soon learn she is actually suspended.
We loved the book, but the film was a real letdown for us! Whilst in the pages the various storylines were given space and worked, it confuses this film with all its subplots, and really drags throughout its 2 hours run time.
Katrine is after justice for a killed police officer Gert Rafto (Val Kilmer) for reasons we learn during the case, which she believes was ordered by Arve Stop (J.K. Simons) a magazine editor.
This is told through various flashbacks with an underused Toby Jones as Investigator Svennsson. We also get various moments of Hole and the status of his relationship with his wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her new boyfriend Mathias Lund-Helgesen (Jonas Karlsson) and his relationship with her son, Oleg (Michael Yates)
We know that Arve is an exploiter of woman as another suspect, Idar Vetlesen (David Dencik) brings him girls, one known just as beautiful girl (Silvia Busuioc) is forced to strip for him, so he can take pictures which Katrine hopes to expose.
Other suspects include the husband of a missing woman (James D’Arcy) but it hard to get invested in such a dull film, presumably because it had 3 writers as the book was great and we know the cast and director can deliver too. Whilst it is never boring, it is dull and never has any real flow, an example is Chloe Sevigny turns up as 2 sisters, but it is never really explored why!
Despite some pretty horrific murder sequences, mainly involving human heads, it is never really tense and overall is a real disappointment. Detective Harry Hole has featured in many Nesbo books but on the strength of this outing, we just can’t see it becoming a franchise which is a real shame as this was one of our films to see this year.
You can watch the trailer here:
We would suggest though you read the book, available at Amazon here:
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