Jalmari Helander’s Big Game is coming. If you haven’t yet, check out the trailer and get ready for one hell of a ride. To get you primed and in the right frame of mind for this one, we here at CHUD have put together an essentials list of films that fall right in line with the tone of Big Game. This is full of A+ action-entertainment.
Here’s the official synopsis:
In the rugged countryside of Finland, a young thirteen-year-old (Onni Tommila) embarks on a traditional quest to prove himself by spending 24 hours alone in the wild, armed with only a bow and arrow. After witnessing a spectacular crash, he discovers the escape pod from Air Force One, containing the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson). When they realize a group of kidnappers is hot on their trail with the intention of taking the president, this unlikely duo must escape their hunters as they search for the American Special Forces team sent out to find them.
Air Force One (1997), dir. Wolfgang Peterson
Why: A Presidential hostage situation gets bad.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Tough Pres’
“If you give a mouse a cookie.” That’s the line you need to remember here. You’ve seen this a million times and it may seem like old news, but this over-the-top 90s classic still holds up. The talent on screen displayed by: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Dean Stockwell, William H. Macy and Philip Baker Hall is enormous for this movie. Hell we even get to see some of our favorites like Jurgen Prochnow, Andrew Divoff, Elya Baskin and Xander Berkeley show up!
Punisher: War Zone (2008), dir. Lexi Alexander
Why: Ray Stevenson is a death god of insanity.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Parkourers
This is the role that made Ray Stevenson a household name in the CHUD family. Insane action sequences, unbelievably evil antagonists, crazy death scenes that seem impossible even in a movie and an underlying level of cheese and self-awareness that makes the whole thing shine. It’s totally unforgettable and head-slappingly absurd and tons of fun. If you’ve skipped it and are still not interested, take it from me, it’s worth seeing at least once.
Escape from New York (1981), dir. John Carpenter
Why: Snake Plissken has to save the President.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Dukes of NY
There are quite a few winks and nods in Big Game that give credit to this immortal classic in terms of story beats and characters. When Snake has to get the President through New York and they are being chased by Isaac Hayes’ The Duke, there are a few moments that if the environment were changed would fit perfectly into the deep mountain woods of Finland. Also note both Presidents are on their ways to attend political summits when all Hell breaks loose.
Surviving the Game (1994), dir. Ernest R. Dickerson
Why: Ice-T fights for his life while being hunted.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Human Targets
It’s the classic tale of The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell updated for the early 90s. Ice-T is living on the streets after losing his family and everything else. He gets picked up by a group of wealthy hunters and duped into becoming their prey. Ice-T then proceeds to go up against Gary Busey, John C. McGinley, Charles S. Dutton, F. Murray Abraham and Rutger Hauer in an attempt to survive and save his life. If you’ve never seen this before, check it out.
Rare Exports (2010), dir. Jalmari Helander
Why: Jalmari Helander & Onni Tommila’s debut.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Demon Santas
This is the film that showed the world that cinemagoers were ready for Krampus movies. A father and son work hard during the winter and when they find their reindeer herd slaughtered by someone who might be Santa Claus, things take a turn for the strange. Filled with likable characters and a fantastic performance from a kick-ass little kid Onni Tommila, this dark folklore-inspired holiday film let us all get introduced to one of the most unique filmmakers around.
Big Game comes out on VOD, iTunes and in theaters this weekend on Friday, June 26.