review by Bobby Blakey
There are movies that come along out of left field that just punch you in the face in a variety of ways. The latest, Sisu reteams Rare Exports star Jorma Tommila and director Jalmari Helander and looks to bring the hyper violence to the next level. Could this film bring the blood and fun it promises or will it fail to be the treasure fans hope for?
Sisu follows a solitary prospector who crosses paths with Nazis in northern Finland during WWII. When the Nazis steal his gold, they quickly discover he is no ordinary miner. While there is no direct translation for the Finnish word “sisu,” the legendary ex-commando will embody what it means: a white-knuckled form of courage and unimaginable determination in the face of overwhelming odds. And this one-man death squad will go to outrageous lengths to get his gold back — even if it means killing every last Nazi in his path.
The trailers for this film looked like a blast and was happy to see it get traction, but alas I missed out on its initial run. Sitting down I was ready for some fun, but also worried it could have been a hype train that it might not live up to. Any worries I had initially were gone instantly when the film kicked off and gets right into the carnage. It has just enough set up for the timeline, the war and where our lead character is before cutting things loose and letting the blood flow.
The story is very simple in its execution giving everything it needs to deliver and allow the violence and fun be the heavy focus. There is a blend of almost Tarantino like vibes and John Wick sentiments while still being its own thing. It is not trying to break down new walls in the action genre, but instead plants
its feet firmly where it is and blows everything up in the best way possible. The action is violent, gory and plenty as we join his journey for survival and success right up until the perfect ending.
The only thing the Nazi’s ever did right was become the perfect villains for films like this and he takes on plenty all on his own. They are shot, dismembered, stabbed, blown up and everything in between with little regard and so much fun to watch the blood splatter and fly throughout. Sure there are plenty of over the top and even unbelievable moments, but you are just invested in the chaos and fun of it all you let it happen.
This is a one off flick in its execution, but I would very much love to see Tommila and Helander reunite with this character again to bring more carnage in some way. It’s the kind that lends to many options in storytelling and could be a ton of fun. At the same time it has the perfect ending to it all and will no doubt end up as one of my favorite films this year.
Check out Sisu available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate.