No wonder director Thomas Alfredson is so upset. After looking forward to this film for quite some time, it’s a shame to say that 2017’s The Snowman is one of the worst films of the year so far. For a film packed with so much talent, the film transcends its terrible-ness and finds itself firmly in “I’m not mad, just disappointed” territory, which is probably worse than just being outright bad.
After an old serial killer re-ignites his killing spree, detectives Harry Hole (played by Michael Fassbender, and no, that name is not a joke) and up-and-coming recruit Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson) team up to bring the snowman-leaving killer to justice. As the case continues and target evades capture, the two detectives start to discover that the case is much more personal than they previously thought.
If you could somehow conjure up the term “WTF” and make it into a crime thriller, you’d get The Snowman. The film tries to follow its straightforward plot as best as it can but finds itself repeatedly stumbling along the way. While trying to raise so many thought-provoking questions, the film fails to answer any in a satisfying manner, and the ones they do answer are lazy and uninteresting. The film jumps from plot point to plot point, dropping some and picking up others, leading to the jumbled and dull excuse for a narrative we received.
The characters are uninteresting, forgettable, and terribly developed. The talents of Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson are wasted, and J.K. Simmons looks like he showed up for a few days to receive his paycheck and leave What was even the point of his character?). The handling of Val Kilmer’s character is egregious due to the dubbing of his lines in such an offensive and obvious manner. If you’re going to handle his character in this way, why not just hire another actor completely?
With horrendous CGI and an overwhelmingly annoying score, the film visually and audibly attacks you at every turn. Legendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker, famous for editing some of Martin Scorsese’s best films, should be rewarded for her efforts on this film. Tasked with stringing together these scenes into a plot with some sort of coherence, she did the best she could, but it becomes painfully obvious that much of the film was never shot, or not ready yet to be added into the final film.
The ending of the film is very unsatisfying and outright stupid. There’s no payoff to anything that happened previously in the film, leaving the ending abrupt and upsetting. People go places, people talk, but at the end of the film its all for naught. Nothing happens in this film, and nothing matters.
It’s easy to see that director Thomas Alfredson’s claims of not being able to shoot “15-20% of the script” ring true, and it’s apparent in the film that it’s possibly even more than that. Incomprehensible and dull, the film is outright boring and woeful. It’s not the “fun” kind of terrible that Geostorm is, but a much more depressing, offensive kind of terrible.
Don’t watch this movie.