MOVIE REVIEW: The Snowman

Michael Fassbender stars as Harry Hole in the adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s Serial Killer thriller The Snowman.  Harry is an alcoholic police detective in Norway.  His chronic alcoholism is leading him on a downward spiral to losing his career and everything else in his life.  A killer is striking at women who it seems on the surface have almost an ideal life, he takes them and leaves a snowman outside their houses as a sinister calling card.  It doesn’t take long before Harry sees the connection that no one else does.

This film starts with a young boy and his Mother who live in an isolated area of the country, seemingly cut off from the rest of society with only an ‘Uncle’ that comes with supplies for them.  It turns out that this ‘Uncle’ is the boy’s father, although he won’t admit that, and when the Mother takes her own life, that is all that we see of the boy.  Many years later we’re introduced to Harry.

Fassbender is excellent as Harry Hole, I mean that, he fits the role like hand to glove and shows a man who is torn between his need to get drunk and the only therapy he knows against the booze which is his work.  But Oslo has a very small murder rate and this just opens the door to him spending more time passing out from his excessive addiction to drink than doing his job.  His boss is trying his best to cover up for him but is running out of excuses.

I would love to see more of Fassbender in this role, but the problem is that I don’t know if he’s going to get the chance, as The Snowman just fails to hit the mark as a starting point.  Don’t want you to get the wrong idea here, there is nothing majorly flawed about the film.  It just either needed to be a little shorter and therefore more punchy in the execution or it needed to be three or four-part mini series event.  The killer is fascinating but at the same time doesn’t have the true impact that you want, you’re hoping for Seven style killer, and it fails to come off.

The photography of the film is beautiful, making use of the natural charm of the Norwegian countryside and towns, and you get the scope that the Director was trying to instil into the viewer straight away.  The few problems I have with the film are a wasted cast, JK Simmons, Val Kilmer, Toby Jones, and Rebecca Ferguson.  They have enough to do but it’s a case of ‘Any Other Actor’ could do these roles so why other than having a big name are they there.  That is one of the biggest problems I have with movies, taking good talent just because their name will attract people, and then not using them to the best of their abilities.  The other problem I have with the film is that there are a few stories that just don’t go anywhere.  There is no resolution and they just are sort of forgotten to wrap up the film.  We are treated to a build up of what could have been a huge dramatic finale and then just to get the killer into a showdown with Harry it’s all forgotten.

The Snowman isn’t a bad film, and it will probably do good business with the names of the supporting cast attracting people in, also fans of Nesbo’s work will probably want to come to see the film.  But I doubt that we’re going to see Fassbender as Harry Hole again and that is the biggest shame.  The film doesn’t have the legs that I think it should have and this could have been a great role for Fassbender to take into the future.  I’d watch this again, but I feel that every time that I watch it, all I would think about would be the fact that it could have been a franchise starting rather than a wasted chance.

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Writers: Hossein Amini (screenplay by), Peter Straughan (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Michael FassbenderRebecca FergusonChloë Sevigny & More… See full cast & crew

Trailer:

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