AW Kautzer's Film Review Film

Film Review: Sisu (2023) 


Sisu is THE Action Film of 2023.  

Move over Mr. Wick a new badass killing machine is in town.

His name is Korpi.

Writer/Director Jalmari Helander’s Sisu is the sharpest, bloodiest, fun time killing Nazis War Film since Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds.  Anchored by the one-man-killing-machine almost wordless performance by Jorma Tommila.  

In 1944 Finland during the Lapland War, a solidary gold prospector (Tommila) finds a huge vein of gold.  The prospector, his dog, and his horse set about taking the fortune back into the city.  It’s on that journey that he encounters a company of Nazis led by s SS Officer Bruno Helldorf (Aksel Hennie).  Rather than let the man go about his way the Nazis go after the prospector for his gold.  What they do not know and quickly find out, the man is Korpi, a legendary ruthless commando from the Winter’s War killing over 300 Russian Commandos. 

Few directors and writers understand how to properly create and build a myth.  Helander as both writer and director, understands and crafts a myth/legend of a film that’s lean, economical, and stylishly witty.  Sisu makes this type of storytelling so attractive and crowd-pleasing in the most unexpected of violently delirious ways.  From the opening confrontation with a Nazi platoon to navigating a minefield to a hanging to a truly unhinged mid-air finale, Sisu is designed like a chase movie that relishes in dispatching these disgusting pig fascists scum in the most gloriously gory ways possible.  The film has the type of gleeful bloodlust that Tarantino showed with Inglorious Basterds.

Sisu understands its purpose so well and is so visually confident that its main character, Korpi, says only one line of dialog.  It is adroit enough to build to its delirious and epic ending and not start with that arched tone.   The film pieces everything together like a beautiful watch, beautifully simplistic on the outside, and intricately complex on the inside.  The film much like any truly great watch you can count on it reliably and without fail to do what it was made to do.  In Sisu’s case kick a willing audience’s asses to the back wall of the theater.  There it will remain for the duration of the Sisu’s run time.  

It is too soon to say but this review wants to go on record.  Sisu is destined to be a classic of the action genre that will be returned to and imitated for years to come. 

Sisu is only in theaters on April 28th

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