I’m not sure what exactly happen to this film but it’s a complete mess. With Martin Scorsese on as a producer (he was the original director) and with a cast this talented, you expect a certain standard. The Snowman is the seventh entry in a crime series featuring the character Harry Hole (insert all laughs here). It’s also just the latest misstep for the recently wed Michael Fassbender following Song to Song, A Light Between Oceans and Assassin’s Creed. He appears to have played Magneto so many times (and he will a fourth- time next year in Dark Phoenix) that he’s forgotten how to choose good roles. The entire supporting cast here is wasted on a script that makes little to no sense and the entire production suffers from the years worst editing job.
“I can’t keep covering for you,” Harry’s police chief says. “I apologize for Oslow’s low murder rate”. Without work, Harry Hole (Fassbender) feeds his drinking and drug addiction to the point his girlfriend Rakel (Gainsberg) kicked him out. He and new investigator Katrine Bratt (Ferguson) work a case of serial disappearances that all have the same M.O. Missing wife with a child who just had an abortion. With Harry only half dedicated to the case, it’s Katrine’s suspicions that lead them closer to the perpetrator. At the home of each missing woman, the abductor
Fassbender’s performance feels like something on autopilot. He phones this one in without his usual charisma or provocative charm.
The poorly edited prologue is our first clue that The Snowman isn’t off to a great start. The screenplay throws a lot a characters and scenarios at the viewer, overwhelming us with questions and possibilities. The flashbacks, featuring a bizarre looking Val Kilmer, whose dialogue is poorly dubbed, is so jarring it’s difficult to pay attention to his role in the plot. The screenplay tries to make everyone a suspect, but while you are bored with scenes that just seem to extend the running time, you can figure out who the killer is before it’s revealed. Director Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) even admits he didn’t shoot enough scenes to create a balance and flow for the complicated thriller.
Fassbender’s performance feels like something on autopilot. He phones this one in without his usual charisma or provocative charm. The production design has little to no creativity behind it as the choppy scenes are just tossed onto each other without precision. It’s baffling why talent like Toby Jones, JK Simmons and Gainsberg would even touch this production as their screen time and characters are hardly integral to the plot. Even if you can get over the plot, it’s just lazy filmmaking, with nothing engaging for the viewer beyond “who’s the killer”.
From story to acting to filmmaking quality this crime thriller is one disappointment after another.