Even if what you're digging for is ultra-violence at the expense of Nazis, you won't exactly strike gold with "Sisu."
Set in World War II Finland, the English-language film tells of a grizzled prospector who hits a massive vein of gold — only to run afoul of retreating Nazis with a truck full of captive Finnish women. It's not the fact that the soldiers are razing towns, murdering his countrymen and kidnapping young women that sets the miner off; it's that the Germans take his gold. Then it's on.
Naturally, he turns out to be a former commando named Aatami Korpi (Finnish veteran star Jorma Tommila), a Rambo/John Wick-level super-killer.
So we'd seem to be set up for some Nazi-blasting goodness, and there are some amusingly novel kills (my favorite being when a landmine detonates in the face of the equivalent of a "Star Trek" redshirt). Unfortunately, there's little else — certainly no characterization. There's little you will not see coming. And there's far too much suspension of disbelief required to maintain any kind of dramatic stakes. Let's just say the miner takes a major beating in this fight to the, um, finish.
Stylistically, while writer-director Jalmari Helander (Tommila's brother-in-law) has said he was influenced by 1982's "First Blood" (a PTSD drama with violence), his film has a distinctly 1970s-grindhouse feel. Not that style particularly matters here; "Sisu" is, first and foremost, about gleeful Nazi-dispatching. It may have benefited from a quickened pace, or touches of humor, or heightened stakes because — at least in this film — watching Nazis get theirs is a vein of amusement that runs dry.
Rated: R (for strong bloody violence, gore and language)
Running time: 1:31
How to watch: In theaters Friday
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