Michael Fassbender is back on the big screen not as one of our favorite mutants, but this time as a drunken detective in Norway who is singled out by a crazy serial killer called The Snowman. The film centers around our slightly sloppy leading man as Harry Hole (Fassbender) who is struggling with alcohol addiction and keeping his work and personal life together. While he struggles to keep his relationship with his ex and her son together a case falls into his lap. With the help of another officer, Katherine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson) they seek a killer who is murdering young mothers and leaving his only calling card, a small snowman behind.
I have been excited about seeing this film for a while now. I was really hoping that this movie could be this year's Gone Girl and be just the murder mystery you want to curl up and watch when the fall weather has arrived. Sadly this film fell massively short of being even remotely enjoyable. First off, the cast of characters is frustrating at best. We don't get a ton of backstory on why these guys are the way they are. Fassbender has a massive drinking problem, but why? Who knows. His troubled relationship with his ex and the hint that her son may be his son, but will it ever be confirmed? Nope, not really. His partner Katherine Bratt is incredibly invested in this case because her father worked it before he was killed, but do we ever even scratch the surface with her? Nope. Who wants to watch a movie where you could really care less about the cast? The absolutely scariest thing in the movie is Val Kilmer (bro, what happened to you?). Not only is his character the weirdest thing in this movie, but I am pretty sure he also had his voice dubbed over the entire movie. There is one scene that it is like watching an old Japanese action film where his lips move but don't quite match up with the sound of the voice. Just truly bizarre stuff. Fassbender is definitely not bringing his A game to the role at all. He can be a phenomenal actor but here in The Snowman, he misses the mark entirely. it probably doesn't help that the book this story and characters are based on is the 7th book in the series. Nothing like starting this saga from the middle.
The story is slow and muddled. The director fails to really pull everything together despite a pretty solid opening scene that sets the stage for what you think will be an awesome murder mystery and they let the entire rest of the film fall by the wayside. Aside from the beautiful Norwegian countryside, there is not much else to this film. It was tough to sit through and judging by some of the comments on the way out of the theater I was hardly the only one who felt that way.
Overall, I had to score The Snowman with a sad D+. It had a cool concept, but really poor execution and it really wastes the talent that is in this film. Maybe with a rewrite to the screenplay and a better director at the helm, this could have worked, but this time it is safe to say if you want to know the story of The Snowman, maybe stick to the 2007 novel by Jo Nesbø instead.