The Snowman15¶ Blu-ray, DVD
There was a time, not so long ago, when audiences were all over Nordic noir like frostbite. They just couldn’t get enough of it on their TV’s – The Bridge, The Killing etc – and on the big screen, mostly with the original and US versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.
This taste for these crime thrillers has cooled off of late though, so no doubt this adaptation of Nordic crime-writing supremo Jo NesbÝ, is hoping to get them back on the menu again.
After a week’s absence with leave from work, Detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) gets around to going through his mail at a police station in Oslo. In it he finds a cryptic message, signed off with the image of a snowman, which he doesn’t think that much of.
It’s not until a number of missing women cases suddenly turn up on his desk, all with the same M.O – they all have a snowman outside of their property – that he puts the proverbial two together. So along with fellow detective Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), the pair brave the cold winds of Oslo to track a possible serial killer.
Up until now director Tomas Alfredson has proven with titles Let the Right One In, and 2011’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, that, visually at least, he knows how to use a camera. And to his credit, the film conforms to all the requirements necessary in the looks department. Where he loses it, is in the plot, literally.
For a crime thriller, there’s a lot going on here. Too much to either follow or care for. And then there’s Val Kilmer. His dialogue is clearly dubbed, which may have something to do with his apparent on-going health issues, but even so, his role is completely jarring.
The story as a whole is highly convoluted. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on what’s going on, some additional nonsense is thrown in, just for the hell of it.
And then you have a great cast whose combined talents are completely wasted. All of the characters are two dimensional, and all are forced to deliver their dialogue in a strange mutation of Nordic English.
Maybe it was a jump too far; after all this is the seventh story in the Harry Hole series, and so it probably would have made more sense to start at the beginning. Apparently not. And on this evidence, it’s unlikely that Detective Hole will be back any time soon.
Much like the real thing, The Snowman initially provides interest and curiosity, but as time goes on, the fascination for it soon melts away and you realise that there really wasn’t anything substantial there in the first place.