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Blu-Ray : Recommended
Release Date: April 28th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2023

Sisu - Film Review

Overview -

If John Wick and Inglorious Basterds had a love child, it would look something like Sisu, the third film from Jalmari Helander of Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, and Big Game success. Sisu won the major Sitges Film Festival award and has received praise from critics around the world for various reasons. This Finnish film that's made entirely in the English language is simple, extremely violent, and a ton of fun for those looking for nothing more than a good popcorn flick at the movies. There's nothing under the surface with Sisu, but that surface-level playing field is an absolute blast even if nothing makes sense. Recommended!


Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
April 28th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Helander made an imprint on audiences with his dark Christmas movie a few years ago that felt original and allowed for both the horror and family-friendly genres to coexist. That film, Rare Exports, is still a beloved piece of cinema to anyone who's viewed it. Big Game might have had a great cast but was ultimately forgettable. Now, Helander aims his sights on WWII with some brutal, yet cartoony violence that is guaranteed to make anyone yell for joy as a gold prospector encounters those nasty Nazis along his way. 

It's clear that John Wick and Inglorious Basterds were big influences in Sisu, but there's also a First Blood element to the film as well where a man minding his own business is forced to rage on in acts of brutality when provoked that is amped up to eleven due to PTSD. Those other films mentioned have wonderful character development, and a great narrative with layers of story to unpack. With Sisu, there is nothing of the sort. It's just about a simple man, traveling with his gold who kills Nazis when they try and stop him. 

Set in Nazi-occupied Lapland, a veteran named Aatami Korpi lives a life of solitude as a gold prospector with only his sweet dog to keep him company. After digging up a major haul of gold, he must trek to the nearest bank to cash it in, But in between him and the bank is a few dozen Nazis packing it up after they lost the war, but are starved for more violence and humiliation. Little does anyone know that this gold prospector is considered a word titled Sisu, which is undefinable but basically means he will stop at nothing to get the job done. 

And just like Quentin Tarantino sets up his movies in titled chapters, Sisu does the same with chapters named The Minefield or Kill 'Em All, as Korpi travels and crosses paths with each enemy. And to make matters even simpler here, Korpi has zero dialogue until his one-word line to end the film. All of the dialogue comes from the Nazis who are one-note evil villains or from their kidnapped harem of women who have their own moment to shine later on in the movie. There is no real backstory to this protagonist nor is there semblance of a narrative other than carrying gold from point A to point B. It's just about killing Germans during WWII and surviving the trek.

When it comes to one unarmed man against tanks, vehicles, and dozens of armed soldiers, the movie tends to jump the shark quite a bit in how Korpi survives. It's far-fetched that John Wick survived all that he went through, but with Korpi here, it's even more excessive than that and has a very cartoony feel to it. Sisu relishes in the absurdity of it all and that's perfectly fine for this movie because Helander frames and choreographs his bloody action and kills to a heightened level of gore and fun. There's nothing realistic about it, which allows Sisu to succeed in the most unlikely scenarios whether it be underneath a tank or high in the air aboard a pilotless aircraft - there is nothing Korpi can't do. 

Video Review


Audio Review


Special Features


Sisu is a blast for those who enjoy the violent elements and the absurdity of John Wick and Tarantino films. There's nothing underneath the surface here in the form of story or character, but let Sisu be Sisu - a movie that just wants to have a good time and be bloody as hell with some inventive camera techniques. Recommended!