Film / Big Game

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From the guy who brought you the Christmas horror movie about evil Santas comes an Action-Adventure flick set in the wilderness of Finland.

When Air Force One is shot down over the Finnish wilderness, the President of the United States and a young Finnish hunter must form an Odd Friendship in order to escape those responsible for the crash, who are now hunting them like game.

This film contains examples of:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: When President Moore and Oskari are sat around the campfire.
  • Action Survivor: Moore's a pitiful fighter and close to panicking at any given moment, but somehow manages to blunder his way through the film and survive.
  • Affectionate Nickname: At boy's own request, Moore refers to Oskari as 'Ranger'.
  • All There in the Manual: The function of the woman who brings Herbert in on the case is left for the viewer to guess — unless you stay for the closing credits and watch out for the only female name. She's the Director of the CIA.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The chief of Moore's security detail, Morris, is an expert shot, tracker and fighter.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: President William Allan Moore.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Morris has a nice suit as a Secret Service agent. He's also capable of taking two men down with one gun before any of them manages to pull the trigger (it's worth noting that both are aiming at him at the time).
  • Badass Mustache: Oskari's father, who killed a bear with a bow, arrows and a knife when he was 13, has a hella mustache.
  • Bad Boss: Agent Morris, the head of the president's detail. He shoots one of his Secret Service subordinates in the head and murders the rest by sabotaging their parachute deployment cords so that they are unable to protect the president on the ground.
  • Beard of Evil: Hazar has one.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Played somewhat more realistically than the usual version of this trope, as the most powerful thing Morris' vest is pitted against is an arrow. On other hand - soft vests are weak, if any, protection from blades and arrows, what could mean that Oskari stil needs practice with bow.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break:
    • The second part of the movie takes place in the morning of Oskari's thirteenth birthday.
    • Made into tradition by Oskari's family — your thirteenth birthday is the day you hunt the big game for the first time.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Agent Morris, the disgruntled head of the president's Secret Service detail. He loathes President Moore's leadership, and is pissed off that he sustained a constantly-life threatening injury saving him from an assassination attempt.
  • Black Guy Dies First: Otis is the first Secret Service agent to be killed by Morris.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Oskari runs out of cover and jumps on the refrigator with Moore inside just as it's about to be flown away by Hazar's helicopter. He manages to cut the ropes, thus saving the president... again.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Agent Morris and Hazar.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The President is saved, Oskari proves himself to be an adept survivalist to his father, and is awarded the Medal of Honor for saving Moore's life. However, Herbert, the corrupt CIA operative who helped orchestrate the entire ordeal has killed everyone else who knew of it and is still at large.
  • Black Helicopter: Coincidentally, Hazar's hijacked helicopter is pitch black. He's a member of government conspiracy. Ditto for SEALs.
  • Blown Across the Room: When Hazar is shot by a hail of bullets, he flies back a good three or so metres.
  • Book Ends: The film begins and ends with a shot of photographs in Oskari's family's Trophy Room, only in the end, a new picture of Oskari with his "hunt" — Moore — is added to the collection.
  • Brick Joke: When Oskari first demonstates a deer calling sound, his father is seen wincing. Later, when Oskari makes the same sound, Moore wakes up in terror, sure that hell is about to break loose.
  • Bullying a Dragon: When Morris gets too snarky for Hazar's tastes, the terrorist has two of his henchmen aim at him to teach him respect. Morris takes both of them down before any has a chance to pull the trigger.
  • The Cavalry: The Pentagon keeps trying to send a Navy SEAL team to rescue the president. However, this is made difficult when the escape pod tracker becomes dislodged and sends them to a farmhouse in rural Norway instead.
    • They later turn up in the right place at the end of the film, much to the surprise of Oskari's hunting community.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The shrapnel lodged near Morris' heart. Oskari later shoots him in the chest with an arrow, which doesn't penetrate his body armour, but does deliver enough force to dislodge the fragment, killing him.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • In the beginning of the movie, Oskari is shown learning how to mimic deer sounds. It comes in handy when he has to distract Hazar.
    • Morris taunting President Moore that you need to cock a submachine gun before it can fire. Moore later remembers this when he retrieves a second SMG from the Air Force One wreckage, and is able to kill Hazar.
  • Chromosome Casting: Masculine. There's only one woman visible on screen during the entire movie, and she doesn't even get a name.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Morris ends up betraying both sides.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Moore uses whatever he has around him and fights dirty to get to Hazar. Justified, as he's not nearly well enough trained to go for any fancy moves.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Did you know that refrigators are bulletproof? In Big Game, they are.
  • Cool Plane: Air Force One, natch. It comes with even cooler, space-capsule-esque escape pod.
  • Dead Man's Trigger Finger: After Morris dies, his finger stays on the trigger and he ends up shooting his own helicopter.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Morris has shades of this.
      Morris: [Moore] was accompanied by a set of smaller footprints.
      Hazar: What does that mean?
      Morris: Usually, small feet.
    • Hazar himself qualifies as well.
      Tour guide: Are you people terrorists?!
      Hazar: Well, I guess you could call us so.
  • Description Porn: The description of surface-to-air rocket launcher Hazar gives the tour guide is insanely detailed, provoking an Oh, Crap! moment for the guide.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Oskari's Big Damn Heroes is quite a surprise to people observing the action from the US.
    Chief of Staff: Who the hell is that?
  • Distressed Dude: President Moore, stuck in a refrigerator hanging from a helicopter about to carry him for seven days of torture and painful death. Cue Oskari's Big Damn Heroes.
  • Disney Villain Death: Morris, after Oskari nails him with a well-aimed shot to the chest.
  • Dull Surprise: Hazar isn't very shocked when Morris shoots two of his mooks.
  • Ejection Seat: President Moore and Oskari use one to escape the downed Air Force One's cockpit before the plane is blown up by Morris.
  • Embarrassing Cover Up: When trying to cheer up Oskari, Moore recounts a time when he used his notes to cover up a urine stain on his pants as he walked into Congress to give his televised State of the Union speech.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Morris nicknames Oskari "small shoes" after the tracks he used to find him and Moore.
  • Epic Fail: Oskari's first attempt at shooting Morris ends up with the arrow landing harmlessly exactly in the middle between the two with a somewhat embarrassed thump. It's worth noting that Morris is perhaps four metres from Oskari at this point. He looks like he's about to burst out laughing, too.
  • Establishing Character Moment: For Herbert, his correct Sherlock Scan of entire situation, combined with him calmly eating a sandwich as he's briefed on the situation.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Morris is disgusted when Hazar announces his plan to stuff the president's body and use it as a trophy. Not that it deters him from his Bodyguard Betrayal, though.
    • While both Morris and Hazar Would Harm A Child, they go out of their way to avoid killing Oskari.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Hazar is endlessly polite when explaining to hapless tour guide just what the rocket launcher does, why the guide should run and what Hazar plans to do with him.
  • Film of the Book: The film is based on a novel "Big Game" by Dan Smith.
  • First-Name Basis: After referring to him as "president" throughout the entire film, Oskari calls Moore "Bill" (as Moore asked him earlier) when introducing him to his father.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Every time a newspaper shows up, it's worth pausing the film and taking a closer look at it.
  • Government Conspiracy: It is later revealed that the CIA and Vice President were responsible for the shooting down of Air Force One and the 'freelance terrorist' hunting the president was actually a CIA operative. They hoped that by killing Moore they would create enough national fear to spark a new War on Terror.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Herbert and the Vice President. Can also count as Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Great White Hunter: Played for Black Comedy — Hazar is acting out a Great White Hunter fantasy and even poses with Moore in a classic "hunter with his trophy" pose.
  • Groin Attack: During his confrontation with Hazar, Moore's most successful attack is strong kick between terrorist's legs.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Oskari has one when he sees that his father's "good hunting place" contains a refrigerator with a head of an already-shot deer, meaning that he doesn't believe that his "Well Done, Son!" Guy kid can pass the Rite of Passage.
    Oskari: Even my father doesn't believe in me.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: President Moore allows Morris to beat the crap out of him so he won't do the same to Oskari.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Moore is painfully aware of his advisor's low opinion on him, but seems to see it as much lower than it actually is.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Hazar's mindset is that he's hunting the "big game" — that is, the US president. With Moore, however, the "Most Dangerous" might be something of an overstatement.
  • Improvised Weapon: Oskari attacks Hazar with a found fire extinguisher.
  • Incendiary Exponent: A meta-example — the "exploding Air Force One" scene features prominently in all trailers and posters.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • "Happy birthday, Oskari". First said by Moore as Oskari's about to go become a man, then written by Oskari's father in the refrigator in which a deer's head is left, proving that Tapio doesn't believe that Oskari's capable of it.
    • "You need to cock it first." First said by Morris to Moore, then repeated by Moore to Hazar.
    • Inverted with "I know the feeling" - first time, Moore says it to Morris ironically, whether he's aware of it or not, but then, when talking to Oskari, he's absolutely honest.
  • It Runs in the Family: Averted. Oskari's father was an accomplished hunter at a young age, killing and bringing home a bear in his first solo hunting trip. Much to his embarrassment, Oskari doesn't possess the same skills as his dad.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: A variation — when Moore tries to shoot Morris, he can't. Morris takes the gun out of his hands and points out that you have to cock it first.
  • Karma Houdini: Herbert gets off scot-free and with no-one alive aware that he was part of the plan to kill the president.
  • Kick the Dog: Even though they're in the middle of wilderness and there's no way the tour guide could alert anyone as to what's going on, Hazar still makes him run for his own amusement and then shoots him.
  • Kid Hero: Oskari is thirteen.
  • Language Barrier: Underplayed — while Oskari does speak good English, he doesn't understand some more obscure words Moore's using and speaks much slower than he does in Finnish. Meanwhile, played straight with Morris, who needs Hazar to translate mooks' Arabic for him.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: At one point, Oskari says that it's time to stop "acting tough" and start "being tough". Subverted when he immediately climbs into the refrigerator and shuts the door, then double subverted when he starts pounding on its side to make it roll off a (rather steep) hill.
  • Little Miss Badass: Gender-inverted with Oskari. Between him and Moore, he's the badass one, and the one to take down Morris, not to mention that he's the only one with any knowledge of how to survive in the wild.
  • Lovable Coward: Moore's rather cowardly — he's even afraid of jumping three metres down, and his tactic throughout the film is hiding and running away — but definitely a likeable person, mostly because he's aware that he's a coward, and seems to overplay this aspect of himself in his mind.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The way the Vice President is killed, making it look as if he slipped on soap in the bathroom.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: Herbert, an elderly former CIA operative, is brought in to advise the Pentagon during the crisis.
  • Misplaced-Names Poster: As you can see in the poster above, the actors' names are flipped.
  • Mistaken for Aliens: The first question Oskari asks Moore is "what planet are you from". The second is "do you come in peace". The escape pod does look like a space capsule, after all, although you'd expect that big USAF written on it would tip him off.
  • The Mole:
    • Agent Morris is able to disarm Air Force One's defences from the inside, allowing Hazar and his men to shoot it down with surface-to-air missiles.
    • Herbert texts Hazar when the circumstances make it too dangerous to try and take the president alive.
  • Motive Rant: Hazar gives one to Moore aboard Air Force One.
  • Neck Snap: Herbert kills the Vice President by slamming the back of his head into a sink, snapping his neck in the process. He then wipes handsoap on his shoe to make it look like he slipped.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Subverted. Oskari tries to shoot Morris for the second time and finally manages to draw a bow properly. He lets the arrow loose, it flies in gratuituos (and epic) slo-mo, hits right where the heart is... and bounces off, as Morris is wearing a bulletproof vest. However, it did have enough strength to push that bullet into his heart, killing him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The woman who unretired Herbert and brought him in on the case essentially gave Hazar and Morris the mole to report on US government's actions, which ended up nearly killing Moore and Oskari.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Morris issues one to President Moore when he first tracks him down.
  • No Name Given: Neither Oskari's family — bar his father — nor most people in National Security Vault have their names given on-screen. The Chief of Staff is called General Underwood in the manual.
  • Noodle Incident: The assassination attempt on President Moore, which took place before the start of the film.
  • Oh, Crap!: The tour guide when he hears the description of the rocket launcher and realizes what Hazar and his team intend to do.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Both Agent Morris and Herbert are portrayed by British actors (Jim Broadbent and Ray Stevenson), whose American accents occasionally slip up throughout the film.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President William Alan Moore is both a President Target and a President Minority (as he is played by Samuel L. Jackson). Arguably, as the film progresses, he begins to become a President Action as well.
  • Playing Possum: It's implied that Oskari's only playing unconscious when Hazar jumps aboard Air Force One, and he later uses this to attack Hazar from behind.
  • Pocket Protector: A variation — when defending himself from Hazar, Moore uses a Doorstopper to stop a knife.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Moore, right before pumping a full magazine into Hazar. Bonus points for it being Ironic Echo.
    You gotta cock it, mothafucka.
    • Later, Oskari delivers one of these to Morris.
    Do you read me now?
  • Psycho for Hire: Hazar. According to Herbert, the man has no religious, political or ethnic views and is in the business simply for the kicks. The fact that he wants to stuff the president as a hunting trophy reinforces this.
  • Rain of Something Unusual: After Air Force One explodes, the lake it was in evaporates and Oskari's family gets to experience a rain of fish.
  • Reality Ensues: When Oskari tries to shoot Morris with a bow for the second time, the arrow bounces off harmlessly — the Secret Service agent is wearing kevlar vest.
  • Red Herring: Moore's campfire pep talk about having to act tough when one can't be tough looks like a set up for some epic scene later, but ultimately amounts to nothing.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hot-headed, permanently furious Morris is Red to Hazar's cold, detached and psychopathic Blue.
  • Retirony: The trip to Finland is supposed to be Morris' One Last Job. He ends up killed.
  • The Reveal: The end of the film reveals that Hazar was a CIA operative, and Herbert and the Vice President were behind the whole attack.
  • Rite of Passage: Oskari must embark on a lone hunting mission in the Finnish wilderness to prove his maturity to his kinsfolk, as his father did before him.
  • Running Gag: Oskari's inability to properly draw a bow.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: The hunting safari guide who has the misfortune of ending up on the same helicopter as Hazar.
  • Scenery Porn: The movie is full of loving shots of Finnish (actually Bavarian, see California Doubling above) mountains.
  • Sherlock Scan: Herbert does one when he is first briefed on the Presidents situation.
    Herbert: "It was a terrorist action. It would require a 10 man unit. They have money and used Chinese-made shoulder mounted surface-to-air missiles, and they had a guy on the inside."
    Gen. Underwood: "How the hell could you know that?"
    Herbert: "They had money, they had to buy the hardware. It was a 5 to 10 men unit, how else do you think they transported and simultaneously fired the SAM's?"
    CIA Director: "Shoulder mounted SAM's can't reach passanger jet altitude."
    Herbert: "They can, if the plane is on its landing trajectory and if the point of firing is at a higher than usual altitude, like the side of a mountain."
    Vice President: "But Air Force One was fitted with every counter-measure known to man!"
    Herbert: "That's the job of the guy on the inside" (takes bite out of sandwich).
    • Later played with: as it turns out, Herbert himself is one of the guys on the inside.
  • Shout-Out: To Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale near the end, in the newspaper one of the hunters uses to check the identity of the president.
  • Smurfette Principle: The unnamed lady in National Security Vault is the only female being in the entire film.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: During the first hour of frantic search for the president, Herbert is seen chewing on his sandwich more often than looking on the screens.
  • Spanner in the Works: Oskari for Hazar and Morris. Had he not found Moore's capsule, the only thing to do would be opening the door and pulling the trigger.
  • Stealth Pun: One of Oskari's neighbours is reading a newspaper at the end of the movie with an article about the presidents impeding visit to Helsinki. It is all written in Finnish apart from the headline that reads "We Want Moore!".
  • Taking the Bullet: Agent Morris did this for President Moore earlier in his administration. It left him with a piece of shrapnel dangerously close to his heart and a foul personal view of the president.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Villainous example — Morris' and Hazar's cooperation is based on rather shaky foundations and the two come to blows more than once.
  • Tempting Fate: When they hide aboard Air Force One, Oskari says "We're safe here, right?" Cue the ceiling bursting open and Hazar dropping inside.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Hazar seems to be fond of it.
    • He shoots the tour guide with a surface-to-air missile powerful enough to take down a passenger plane. It ends up vaporising the guy and levelling down a huge chunk of forest.
    • The bomb he plants on Air Force One ends up vaporising the entire lake the plane is in. And it's not as if it was a tiny pond.
  • Title Drop: When Hazar and his men are being helicoptered to the forest under the pretence of a hunting trip.
    Pilot: "Yes, we have everything here: moose, bear, wolves, lynx, everything you need. So, what kind of game are you looking for?"
    Hazar: "Big Game."
  • Translation Convention: Averted. Finnish characters speak Finnish among each other and Hazar's mooks talk in Arabic.
  • Trophy Room: Oskari's family has a variation, as they have a room full of photos of previous generations with their thirteenth-birthday hunts.
  • Underwater Ruins: The wreckage of Air Force One is partially submerged in a large lake.
  • Undying Loyalty: Hazar's helicopter pilot refuses to abandon his boss even after Morris shoots his comrade and threatens to shoot him.
  • [Verb] This!: Oskari says "Take this!" when attempting to shoot Morris with an arrow for the first time. Unfortunately, that's still before he learns how to draw a bow properly.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Oskari's main motivation during the film is proving to his father that he is a good hunter. He considers this hunt far more important than getting the President of the United States back to civilisation.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The government conspiracy. They believe they work for the good of their country, even if it means taking down the President and torturing him to death to create a martyr.
  • Wham Line: During Air Force One confrontation, courtesy of Hazar.
    Hazar: If it makes you feel better, you and I are both on the same side.
  • Wham Shot:
    • When President Moore discovers the corpses of his Secret Service detail strewn across the rocks due to Morris disabling their parachutes.
    • When Oskari and Moore realize that the river they fell into got them right next to Air Force One.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Morris has no problem punching 13 year old Oskari in the face, however, President Moore purposefully takes most of the beating to spare him.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The Pentagon quickly scrambles Navy SEAL teams to the location of the escape pods homing beacon. Unfortunately, it fell off the pod during free fall and leads them to a farm in rural Norway instead.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/BigGame