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George At 

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The Snowman


The only thing more icy than the title character of THE SNOWMAN is the reception this poorly constructed thriller got at the box office in late 2017.

Based on a bestselling book by Jo Nesbo, the film is directed by Tomas Alfredson, his first film in 6 years after two well received movies, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and 'Let The Right One In" which I really enjoyed.

The always talented Michael Fassbender leads the cast as alcoholic detective Harry Hole. Even Fassbender cant generate sympathy for his plight when the film he's in is so poorly constructed, edited and shot that it feels incomplete.

Inexplicably, he's assigned (I think, it never says) to a serial killer case emerging in the snowbound, icy Scandinavian landscape. A murderer is slaying victim after victim, often dismembering them or replacing heads with a snowman's head.

At each killing, he positions a snowman in a "scary" position. The problem is, snowmen just arent that scary, no matter how much the music playing behind ominous shots of them tries to make Frosty into Ted Bundy.

Characters come and go, disappearing after introduction and leaving you with so little information that its hard to give a damn about anyone.

Let me share one glaring example.

Val Kilmer appears in the movie in flashbacks as a detective that first discovers and pursues our serial killer. In the first scene, he barely speaks. In the second, when he does talk, the voice that is dubbed over his real voice is such an odd fit that you shake your head.

Then, there's a scene where he is clearly over dubbed with new dialogue, and another where a voice on a police radio tells us what's happening becuase there is no way that you'd figure it out by watching the screen.

is this due to horrible editing? Poor shooting?

Dismal adaption of the book?

Alfredson recently gave an interview in which he said Universal rushed him into production and then didn't give him enough time to finish filming, leaving 15% of the screenplay un-filmed.

At least that helps explain why you feel that you're watching a jigsaw puzzle with a whole lot of pieces missing.

A great cast is underused.

Fassbender looks like he really was drunk the entire shoot, Rebecca Ferguson (The Greatest Showman) is a detective with interesting, but greatly unexplained motivations for tracking down the killer and the terrific JK Simmons (Whiplash, Justice League) gives the film's best performance as a wealthy industrialist battling for an Olympic bid.

It wasn't a good sign for me when one of my least favorite actresses Chloe Sevigny shows up in a major role that soon became laughable in its duplicity, and then went nowhere.

It's beautifully shot by Dion Beebe (Chicago, Collateral) and Executive Produced by Martin Scorsese, who was originally slated to direct. Maybe he would have made a better film.

My hopes for a great thriller melted faster than the first, less than ominous uber-Frosty.

THE SNOWMAN has zero coherence and even less thrills, stumbling a confusing path to a D.

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