The Snowman - This Nesbo Movie So Doesn't Rock
Dir: Tomas Alfredson
Starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer, J K Simmons, Chloe Sevigny, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones
Martin Scorsese was originally going to direct this movie, which was intended to launch a franchise for Jo Nesbo’s best-selling Harry Hole thrillers. Well, on the evidence of The Snowman, Scorsese was lucky to get out when he did, and we can’t see many more of these coming down the fjord.
Tomas Alfredson has taken over calling the shots, and whilst the shots themselves (all filmed on location in a snowy Norway) are often quite lovely to look at, Nesbo’s tale has come something of a cropper in its (apparently rather liberal) translation to the screen. Fassbender keeps his head down effectively in what is basically a one-dimension take on the maverick cop with demons and a drink problem – we rarely see him drink to be fair, we just see him waking up a lot in inconvenient places looking like shit. His bad habits take a back seat when a new serial killer starts taunting him – by building snowmen. And worse, they’re pretty grumpy looking snowmen. Yes, this is a movie that wants to do for the snowman what It does for the clown – and fails miserably. For those worried if this will forever taint the Yuletide tradition of watching the Raymond Briggs’ animation, fear not – you’ll be watching that again much sooner that you’ll want a second viewing of this.
More than anything, Alfredson’s movie fails from being both lazy and wayward. Too many subplots seek centre stage and coincidence seems to stretch beyond belief. And it wastes Rebecca Ferguson. All of these are bad things.
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