Sisu Review

The “every day looking man who is a trained assassin/fighter” genre has been around for a while now. From Charles Bronson in Death Wish to the John Wick films and the recent Nobody, we see that the guy who looks like a pushover is the guy you don’t want to mess around with. I had another word for “mess” but I wanted to keep this review PG-13. Sisu falls into this genre. What looks like a movie about an old gold prospector name Aatam, played by Jorma Tommil, being robbed by Nazis turns into something more when they find out he was a legendary commando.

Sisu is broken down into 6 chapters: Gold, The Nazis, The Minefield, The Legend, Scorched Earth, and Kill Them All. Just by the titles of each chapter, you can already deduct what they are about and what will happen in each one of them. Each chapter builds off the last one and little by little gives us insight into who the prospector is. The violence in each chapter grows more intense as the movie continues. Yes, there is violence, and a lot of it.

Just like the extraordinary action sequences in John Wick, Sisu gives us scenes that we have not seen in a movie before. The entire minefield sequence will go down as one of the most memorable sequences in a movie. While Aatam does not look like he is a strong man, his look does exude a tough would that has been through some stuff. Aatam just wants to take the gold he found to the bank to have it cashed out but that trip is interrupted by a squadron of nazis.

Jorma Tommila as Aatami Korpi in SISU. ©Freezing Point Oy. Photo Credit: Antti Rastivo

Once the nazis mess with Aatami, the story really starts to roll. The nazis see Aatami as an old man and while checking his bags they discover the gold. We are shown earlier how the nazis kill anyone that is in their way and they get ready to execute Aatami for his gold. If you have seen the trailer for Sisu you know what happens next: A knife through the head of a nazi. Aatami makes short work of these men and takes his gold and starts to ride away. Due to the amount of noise that was made Bruno, played deliciously evil by Aksel Hennie, turns his squad around to see what the commotion is about. When they find the attacked men, Bruno sees one nugget of gold and decides this would be his way out of the war.

What follows next is a series of back and forth between Aatami and the nazis. When the nazis feel that finally got the draw on Aatami they are proven wrong. There are no 20-minute action sequences in this movie but the action sequences are perfectly choreographed and show the brutality of Aatami. He uses the tools he has to fight off the nazis and his brute strength to keep going. Bruno knows what he has to do to kill Aatami but also has the help of his top man, Wolf, played by Jack Doolan.

Wolf is first introduced to the viewers riding in a truck with a group of captured women. It seems like he just finished assaulting one of them when the squad first encounters Aatami. Wolf is ready to kill without being asked to and he it ready to take down Aatami no matter the cost. The relationship between Bruno and Wolf is one of respect but at times it feels that Wolf goes over Bruno’s head to get things done.

The final act of the movie will make you disbelieve the action you see on screen. Jorma perfectly sells the pain and strength he has while fighting to take his gold to the bank. Sisu gives the audience a character that they can relate to and cheer for him to get to his final destination. Remember the women I mentioned earlier, wait until you see how they get their revenge on Wolf and the other nazis that held them captive. This is one movie that wraps up perfectly the story it is telling and will take you on a brutal journey for 90 minutes.

Mimosa Willamo as Aino in SISU ©Freezing Point Oy. Photo Credit:
Antti Rastivo

Final ThoughtsSisu is an experience that will take you on an incredible ride. Jorma Tommila is not the person you want to mess with; he effortlessly goes through the Nazis like nothing. While there is not much to the story the action is what does all of the talking in the movie. Sisu is an action-packed thrill ride that will have you rooting for the hero until the very end.

Kid-Friendly: No, Sisu is not kid friendly. If your kid has watched the John Wick movies then they might be ok with watching this. The violence in this movie is gory and intense.

Violence: All over the movie. There is impaling with knives. Mines are used in killing Nazi soldiers. A few Nazis are run over by vehicles. The deaths are plenty and gruesome.

During the last desperate days of WWII, a solitary prospector (Jorma Tommila) crosses paths with Nazis on a scorched-earth retreat in northern Finland. When the Nazis steal his gold, they quickly discover that they have just tangled with no ordinary miner. While there is no direct translation for the Finnish word “sisu”, this legendary ex-commando will embody what sisu means: a white-knuckled form of courage and unimaginable determination in the face of overwhelming odds. And no matter what the Nazis throw at him, the one-man death squad will go to outrageous lengths to get his gold back – even if it means killing every last Nazi in his path.

Lionsgate presents, in association with Stage 6 Films, a Subzero Film Entertainment production, in association with Good Chaos.

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