Review: The Snowman – a disjointed muddle that should have been more

PUBLISHED: 15:24 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:24 29 November 2017

The Snowman

The Snowman

© Universal Pictures

Based on the bestselling novel by Jo Nesbo, Michael Fassbender stars as a Norwegian detective on the hunt for a serial killer who leaves snowmen at the scenes of his crimes.

Directed by Swede Tomas Alfredson, The film tells the story of renowned detective Harry Hole, who despite being brilliant at his job, is also battling alcoholism and coping with the break up of his long term relationship.

When young Oslo women begin to disappear in suspicious circumstances, Hole is paired with new officer Katrine Bratt to head up an investigating task force.

Having previously directed the well received 2011 adaptation of John le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, hopes were high for Alfredson’s version of this bestselling Scandinavian thriller, however the film never lives up to that promise.

The early pace is excruciatingly slow as the officers struggle to put the clues together and things become increasingly muddled as the plot plays out.

Characters’ motivations are never clearly explained and flashbacks involving a barely recogniseable Val Kilmer muddy the waters further, giving the film an incrediblely disjointed feel.

Fassbender, however, is faultless as the disheveled lead detective and with an impressive array of supporting talent, including Rebbeca Ferguson, J K Simmons and Charlotte Gainsborg, the film’s ultimate failure is even more baffling.

Since its release, director Alfredson has made the astonishing admission that a large portion of the script was left unfilmed due to time constraints and as the film reaches its conclusion, that becomes all the more apparent.

Fans of the excellent Jo Nesbo novel will be left dismayed by how much the plot differs needlessly from the book and casual film fans will be left simply confused.

With such a quality cast, and a well regarded director at the helm, there was undoubtedly a good film to made here, but due to the inexplicably rushed production, this film most definitely does not add up to the sum of its parts.

A disjointed muddle that really should have been so much more.


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