Sisu (2022)

Sisu (2022)

Movie Details

Movie: Sisu (2022)
Cast: Jalmari Helander,Aksel Hennie,Jack Doolan
Genre: Action/War
Release date: 27 January 2023 (Finland)
Director: Jalmari Helander
Languages: Finnish, English
Budget: 60 lakhs EUR
Distributed by: Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Nordisk Film, Lionsgate Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group
Cinematography: Kjell Lagerroos
IMDB: 6.9/10
Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes


Sisu (2022)


To make an action film worth something ideally requires a lot of money and a lot of talent. And even then, it may not always turn out well. However, that talent is undoubtedly more important. It is enough to look at the latest installments of Fast and Furious and compare them with small action films like the first John Wick, Nobody, or with those that sometimes turn out in countries where we would not expect it.

And I like the last ones because when talented people come to the event, able to spice up the genre with regional uniqueness, it’s usually worth it. The Finnish Sisu had these ambitions. But if they managed to live up to it, that may be a slightly more complicated question.

Sisu is a Finnish and difficult to translate into Czech expression for absolute determination and bravery. Just to kill yourself and fight with everything that the world will throw at you. And this word fits perfectly with a guy named Aatami Korpi. It is 1944, German troops are retreating and the defeat of the Third Reich is imminent, but it is still too early to celebrate the victory.

Besides, Aatami is not worth anything like that. He lives in the wasteland of Lapland far from people and only with his dog and searches for gold. And now he has found it and is heading with it to the city where he could trade it for money and be, if not happy, at least damn rich. But on the way he encounters a unit of Germans led by the brutal Bruno Helldorf. And Korpi’s gold would like that. But he doesn’t count on the fact that this Scandinavian Clint Eastwood will turn out to be a bit tougher than he originally thought. A small war begins in the Lapland wilderness.

Sisu: Sis is fine. In a way, very nice, but here we are not talking about any surprises from the morning Raid: Redemption or Hardcore Henry, which would come out of the blue. Writer-director Jalmari Helander isn’t a complete newcomer, having made the hilarious Santa Claus kidnapping flick Rare Exports and even flirted a bit with Hollywood when he lured Samuel L. Jackson into his action film Take Out the President.

Which is a film that the world has already forgotten and that hasn’t been remembered as a very unsuccessful bore. Despite the great trailer, I was a bit cautious. Fortunately, however, Helander chose a better moment.

Sisu is a well-made action movie. Within the scope of the six million Euro budget and Finnish production. His novelty is quite a simple spectacle. Korpi meets Helldorf, Helldorf wants gold, and then the tough gold digger chases German soldiers for an hour and a half across Lapland. And you get nothing more. Fortunately, most of the time it’s fun because Helander doesn’t try to invent anything new and is aware of his options.

Only in a few moments is it evident that he had a scene in his head that, due to the budget, he couldn’t shoot as he probably wanted (the human torch), but otherwise he manages to avoid moments in which he would burn his legs with his ambitions. As far as possible, even the epic moments are impressive as they should be.

More importantly, however, Helander manages to look somewhat “Tarantino“. The simple story is thus divided into chapters with the help of stylish intertitles, and there is enough fun violence, and creativity in the action scenes to keep you from getting bored. Sisu doesn’t hold back much, he falls forward and as soon as the unstoppable gold digger and the nacs go crazy in the minefield, he immediately heads to the lake and invents new action-B-type-violent jokes there.

In addition, the whole thing progresses in the right way, sometimes its atmosphere is reminiscent of westerns, and in the last half hour, Helander gets going much more than I would have expected given the budget and conditions. And it looks good.

The taciturn Jorma Tomilla in the main role handles his tough guy very well, but the main star here is the charismatic Aksel Hennie and his henchman, who can be so bad that he could easily pass in the Shameful Banners or next to Indy. Hennie’s career is well underway both in Europe and in Hollywood, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, in a few years, he starts subtly replacing Mads Mikkelsen overseas.

Play the trailerThere are a few reasons why you should see Sisa and enjoy the Finnish event. But after all, I was a little hopeful that we would get more. I had a problem with the fact that Helander takes the whole thing on a serious note, and the film sometimes needs to lighten up a bit. And that even if the hour and a half goes by very quickly, Sisu is too simple a film that says at the beginning that we have an unstoppable hero, a sweetheart, and a nanny and that it will be cut for an hour and a half. Well, it’s happening.

And if you leave the theater halfway through to make a phone call (because you’re not an idiot, what would you do in a movie theater) and then come back, the same thing will happen. Only in slightly different settings. In any case, despite the emptiness of the plot and a certain repetitiveness, there are enough ideas, talent, and enthusiasm to have fun in the cinema. Significantly more than many more expensive and professional competitors,

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