The Snowman is a crime mystery directed by Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Jo Nesbo. The film boasts an all star cast from Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson in major roles to Val Kilmer and J.K. Simmons supporting, but unfortunately wastes every shred of talent in this boring, shockingly edited, and truly unintelligible mess. I had hopes for this movie’s success even after seeing the quite negative early reactions, but with every passing minute I found myself more and more confused to the point where jack shit makes any sense in this movie. There are entire characters whose roles in this story are still unclear to me, entire side-plots that made no sense and have no conclusion, a climax that is anything but that, and editing that is so awful it’s as though they filmed 3/4 of a movie and threw everything together as is. I mean, characters go from one location to the next in seconds and I just don’t know how or why or the importance of anything going on. I mean for fucks sake…. there are multiple scenes dedicated to finding out whether Oslo gets the fucking Winter Olympics…… WHY THE FUCK????
Lets talk about the plot of this movie, the rushed as fuck editing, anticlimactic “resolution”, and how I genuinely had no fucking clue why shit was happening for around 95% percent of this thing….. So Harry Hole (Fassbender) is tasked with investigating the disappearances of women during winter and with the help of Katrine (Ferguson) he must find out who the killer is before he strikes again. Seems simple enough right? But there are so many side characters and side-plots woven into this story that it turns into a total fucking mess. There is one side plot involving Arve Stop (Simmons), Idar Vetlesen (David Dencik), and some other random girl that honestly has no bearing on the main plot whatsoever. I have tried to explain their presence in my head for a while now and I just have no fucking clue why they’re in here, it’s never fully explained to realisation and is a confusing waste of time. Val Kilmer has a limited role as Gert Rafto, whose character is admittedly connected to the plot in one minor way but then has another side-plot entirely supposedly connecting to J.K. Simmons’ side-plot and also linking back to Rebecca Ferguson’s character in a way that still has NO. FUCKING. PURPOSE.
And the editing….. my god….. it’s absolutely atrocious. There are scenes wedged into certain spots that are completely jarring and seemingly random. There are subsequent scenes where characters move from one location to the next and you don’t actually see what influenced them to go there in the first place. There are two flashbacks integrated into the film so poorly, I couldn’t actually figure out whether they were flashbacks or not until it’s spelled out very late in the movie. No fade, no filter over the top, just a hard cut to a scene taking place in the past with no explanation at all. There is a short love making scene in the third act that is 100% random and 100% pointless. I mean, I honestly think something serious went wrong and half of this film wasn’t able to be shot resulting in having to work their way around connecting scenes with what they had. And this has resulted in terrible pacing where it constantly is speeding up and slowing down and a tonne of story holes where shit goes by entirely unexplained making this movie harder to follow with every passing moment. This is edited by two Academy Award winning editors so there’s something else at work here. And then you get to the end of the movie and holy fuck do they completely butcher it….. It’s entirely anticlimactic and one thing that could have given it a strong ending would be the presence of strong villain motivations. And just like everything else, that confused the living shit out of me too.
So in the end this piece of horse shit is such a major disappointment, especially when it was being labelled as a gripping thriller and even possibly delving into the horror genre. There isn’t a shred of horror in this mess and it is so far from being a thriller it’s embarrassing. I’d say it’s strictly a crime mystery, and I use the “mystery” part of that very lightly. The big name talent is completely wasted on bland characters, barely any of this shit makes sense, it’s dull, boring, shockingly paced, and a genuine waste of time. Michael Fassbender has been in some great films in the past but he has also been in some serious stinkers and this is most definitely one of them. The only positive I can give this is that there are a small handful of scenes that are well shot in a fairly confronting manner….. and that’s being generous. Don’t waste your time on this crap, see something else…. ANYTHING else. And if I seem pissed off, I most definitely am, what annoys me more than having seen a shit movie, is having seen a shit movie that unintentionally makes no fucking sense. I need to forget this shit ASAP.