This Finnish action movie Sisu is set during the end of the 2nd World War and stars Jorma Tommila as Korpi who is a gold prospector who suddenly finds a huge buried gold vien after digging for days and after loading up, goes on horseback with his faithful dog to cash in.
But a group of Nazis and a huge tank who are losing the war are in his way and after trying to take his stash, a huge violent battle ensues with him trying to keep hold of the gold at all costs.
This is such a refreshingly simple story done in an exciting and no hold barred way that you will be cheering for him to succeed the whole time. Korpi is the ultimate badass, he does not speak any dialogue through virtually the entire movie but has such a powerful almost superhuman status that he uses any means to kill anyone who gets in his way.
The violence and gore are extreme but done in an almost comic style that is not in the least offensive, the lead actor Jorma Tomilla, who was in the excellent alternate Christmas film Rare Exports (if you have not seen it do yourself a favour this festive season), commands the screen and is certainly someone you would not mess with.
The film is set in Finland in 1944 when they agreed to an armistice with the Soviet Union that required the Nazis to be driven out of the country. (Finland had allowed Nazi troops free passage across its borders). The retreating army left a trail of destruction across Lapland in the north of the country and you see this in one of the film’s more striking images.
Apparently, the word Sisu is untranslatable in English, although the film tells us that it refers to a “white-knuckled form of courage and unimaginable determination.” But Jorma Tommila comes across as a mix of Rambo and John Mclaine from Die Hard, grizzled and seemingly impervious to pain. We learn that Korpi is a retired commando infamous for his lack of discipline and borderline superhuman resolve.
The supporting cast is good, especially the Nazi leader Aksel Hennie and the group of women who escape the clutches of the Nazis and finally get their revenge. Lapland is made to look like a very cold and inhospitable place which makes his journey all the more harrowing to watch.
For those that don’t like subtitled films do not worry, all of the dialogue, not that there is much of it is in English apart from the last small segment at the end.
A great action film that is a highlight of the year so far. Available on Blu-ray from the end of July.
FILM : 9 OUT OF 10