The Snowman (2017)
With FROZEN II letting it go and freezing out the box office competiton this past weekend, it’s time to get in the Thanksgiving spirit and be thankful that we didn’t get a sequel to a far less beloved snowman tale: the 2017 Norwegian-set thriller known as THE SNOWMAN! Before Martin Scorsese gave us his newest mob masterpiece THE IRISHMAN, Marty was originally set to direct this cinematic adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s best-selling thriller, but would instead end up executive producing the film instead and handing off his director’s chair to Tomas Alfredson, the acclaimed Swedish auteur who brought us the original LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and the Gary Oldman remake of TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY. Plus, the film had none other than Michael Fassbender, fresh off the runaway success of…erm, the ASSASSIN’S CREED movie, starring as the film’s alcoholic wild-card detective Harry Hole–that’s supposed to be pronounced “hoo-leh”, BTW, but the film insists on pronouncing it as just plain “Hole”, and the fact that our lead character’s name reminds you of a hairy asshole will end up being one of the smaller problems with this film. You see, Tomas Alfredson was prevented by Universal Pictures from filming 10 to 15 percent of this movie in order to take advantage of an expiring tax credit, and when you end up with a mystery movie that doesn’t have all the pieces to its puzzle, it’s only natural that the puzzle will end up falling apart. Sure, you could tell that the filmmakers wanted the Harry Hole series to become the next big detective movie series in the vein of your GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOOs and your SHERLOCK HOLMESes, but when your central mystery involves: –a serial killer whose “frightening” signature is building a stupid-looking snowman in front of his victims’ houses; —Val Kilmer playing another alcoholic detective on the Snowman Killer case whose voice has been horribly dubbed due to Kilmer’s fight with throat cancer; –a sex-trafficking ring run by wealthy businessman J.K. Simmons, sporting a Norwegian accent that makes him sound more like a cartoonish British snob; –Chloe Sevigny popping up as both one of the Snowman Killer’s beheaded victims and the victim’s twin sister who serves no discernable function to the plot; –AND the Snowman Killer shaking his ass around dancing to the “Popcorn” song…then it’s safe to say that Martin Scorsese made a good choice in not directing this bleak, dreary, badly edited and unfinished slog of a thriller in which there are no thrills to be found. Hey, Marty, if you think that the Marvel movies don’t qualify as “real cinema”, then I’ve got a snowman in Oslo, Norway which I’d like to sell to you.
Happy Thanksgiving to all the JoBlo readers and viewers out there! Make sure you smother some gravy onto our previous episodes of Awfully Good Movies: