Sisu

15 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD

It seems these days that if you’re after an on screen hero, they only come in tight, Lycra costumes with some kind of silly name attached like Ant-Man or Wonder Woman.

It didn’t used to be that way, just look back at the eighties and you’ll find some tough nuts that took some cracking, played by the likes of Stallone, Norris and Van Damme.

This then is a throwback to those times, featuring a hero who doesn’t take any shit, especially from Nazis.

boom reviews Sisu
I'm starting to regret that head start they gave me now...

1944, and WWII is slowly coming to an end. Someone who has kept his head down throughout in the bleak wilds of Finland is Aatami (Jorma Tommila). With just his horse and dog for company, this man of very few words is just focused on one thing: finding gold.

It just happens he does just that, and a fair amount of it too. He doesn’t have much time to celebrate however, as a group of Nazi soldiers, who have been tasked with destroying as much of the land as possible as they make their leave of it, come across him on their travels.

They ignore him, initially at least, but then he makes it difficult for them not to interact with him, when he is stopped by a following group, and given a hard time.

The thing is, they don’t know who they’re messing with, as Aatami has reached legendary status in these parts, and these Nazis are going to find exactly how it got it, and it’s going to get messy.

boom reviews Sisu
No really, we're friends of the royal prince.

For Finnish director Jalmari Helander’s third feature, he pays homage in general to those eighties action flicks, with a bold and brash stick of cinematic dynamite. More specifically to Stallone’s Rambo, as Helander’s Aatami is essentially a WWII equivalent.

That’s not all however, as the film is also a neo western of sorts, as the main protagonist here is also reminiscent of Clint Eastwood’s Man with no Name who featured in Sergio Leone’s string of Spaghetti westerns, both in terms of mentality as well as a penchant for not saying much. And just to reinforce the similarity, Helander underscores his film with a western inspired soundtrack to boot.

And just as those films of the eighties were, Sisu is outrageously over-the-top. Ludicrously so, which is part of its appeal and charm.

It’s a completely wild ride, as one man effectively takes on an entire army, and dispatches them, one by one, in a deliciously gruesome fashion.

Its retro leanings are a welcome relief against the current backdrop of homogenised action films.

Perhaps one area where it disappoints is that, despite being made in Finland, it caters for an English speaking audience, who are too lazy to watch a film with subtitles, so has been filmed primarily in English throughout. It’s a minor gripe, watching nasty Nazis speaking English, but if it gets to be seen by a wider audience, it’s worth it.

Sisu then is a wholly welcome shot of pure adrenalin direct to the eyeballs. It proudly wears its influences on its arm, only to have that said limb suddenly blown magnificently across the screen.

If you have a fondness for vicious action and buckets of blood and guts, then you need a slice – or three - of Sisu in your life.

we give this four out of five