At present, there are more films and television than one person can reasonably consume at any given time. So many of these are adaptations of novels and other source material, and sometimes it feels as though there is no rhyme or reason as to why something gets adapted into one form of media versus another. And The Snowman is an excellent example of how that can play out. Rather than feeling like a film, it ultimately resembles a nonsensical edit of a decent miniseries.
Alcoholic detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) gets embroiled in a case involving a mysterious serial killer who leaves snowmen as a calling card. Katrine (Rebecca Ferguson) is a newer police officer with an intense interest in the case, which gives Hole more reasons to investigate. I’m not going to try and even describe anything more of the plot because it would be pointless, and even after seeing the film, it isn’t entirely clear as to what exactly the story of the film is. Suffice to say that Val Kilmer, Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons, Toby Jones and others round out this overly large cast.
Even the majestic Scandinavian landscapes in this film can’t make up for its numerous missteps. The biggest is that there are no characters. There’s nothing to them. No motivations, no traits, no nothing. They are shells of people, pawns on the chessboard of the plot, moving around as needed, not resembling real people at all. It is absolutely baffling. There is nothing to this story as it has been translated to the screen. All of the other pieces are in place to have an effective film being made, but the script feels like they took the book it was based on and randomly decided which pages to film.
Make no mistake, this is one of the worst films of the entire year. It is exceedingly rare that a film can actually make me angry with its incompetence, but here it is. Save yourself the trouble and revisit The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo again.
The Snowman opens in Philly theaters today.
Author: Ryan Silberstein
Ryan spends his days at a company named one of the best to work for in the Philadelphia area, and his nights
as a mysterious caped vigilante saving his city from the disease that is crime watching movies. He lives on a diet consisting of film, comic books, experimental beer, black coffee, and those big metal historical markers around town. Follow him on Twitter and Letterboxd.