The thought of a deranged, snow-loving serial killer using crooked-eyed snowmen as his murderous calling card sounds like a classic in the making, right? Unfortunately for us the Michael Fassbender-Rebecca Ferguson starring film adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s novel, The Snowman, fails to deliver on such an exciting premise.
This pretty looking, yet vastly undercooked crime-thriller is the perfect example of that ol’ critical cliché of ‘style over substance’. As a holiday advert, the film works great for publicising the beauty of Norway (if you look past the multiple killings, that is… ). The snow, the architecture, it all looks great. Yet the characters feel underserved and the plot rather patchy, a mega disappointment given the talent in front and behind the camera.
It’s a difficult job making one of the worlds most eclectic actors (Fassbender) so utterly bland and generic, but in Harry Hole you have that: a drunken, family-less detective who you couldn’t care less about. This is pretty much the issue with the film in general: as you flick from one murder to the next (infuriated by police discrepancies – why the heck did they ignore the snowman?), it makes it hard to care.
It’s not terrible – in fact, it’s still pretty watchable – but given what was at the filmmakers’ disposal, it’s all rather underwhelming. Rebecca Ferguson is a flickering light of quality relief amongst the mediocrity and the film offers a little bump in excitement towards the end, but it’s not enough. Nowhere near enough.
IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1758810/