You Certainly Won’t Want To Build A Snowman
Its hard to know where to start with The Snowman. On paper, the intriguing premise, stacked cast and wonderful soundtrack should be enough to knock this out of the park, especially given the exciting trailer. In reality, The Snowman is a mess and worse, half the scenes in the trailer don’t make it into the film. A lacklustre script complete with questionable, contrived twists and an incredulously bad ending coupled with a general lack of pace of excitement make The Snowman a real slog to sit through. There’s potential here but its squandered by too many poor decisions that make it hard to ignore what a bad film this is.
The story begins with young Harry Hole and his mother, surrounded by a blanket of snow in the wilderness at their house. After witnessing the death of his mother, the film skips forward to show Harry (Michael Fassbender) all grown up and struggling to form meaningful connections with those around him whilst working as a Detective. As a killer surfaces and the presence of a snowman at the scene of every killing leads to an investigation and a possible serial killer on the loose, Harry and Katrine (Rebecca Ferguson) team up to get to the bottom of the murders. Whilst the plot seems simple enough, the agonisingly slow pace does nothing to help the lack of drama that plagues much of the film. That’s before even mentioning the nonsensical subplots that never lead anywhere and various characters that show up but don’t really bring anything to the film.
Its a shame too and without being familiar with the source material, its difficult to make an educated assessment as to whether this film is simply following a poor book or whether the adaptation is just clumsily mismanaged. There’s no denying that the acting is certainly not the issue here. With an all star cast including Fassbender, Ferguson and J.K. Simmons, the various issues seem to emanate from the clumsy editing and poor script. The actual composition of the shots is surprisingly good though, with some gorgeous sweeping vistas of snow-capped mountains and a decent soundtrack that elevates what’s otherwise a bitterly cold film.
Overall, The Snowman is a difficult film to recommend. Its neither thrilling nor dramatic, nor does it handle the mystery particularly well. The all star cast do well to sprinkle a bit of star power over the lacklustre scenes and a decent soundtrack coupled with some solid composition do go someway to soften the blow but beyond this, The Snowman is a cold, icy adaptation that struggles to settle into a rhythm.