Arts & Life, Film & Television

“Sisu” shows the lengths one man goes for a dream

If you have heard of the meme “Punch a Nazi”, then you will know that “Sisu” does more than that to the World War II foes. The Nazis are routinely exploded, stabbed, maimed or otherwise deleted from existence in the Finnish historical action film.

This will be as spoiler-free of a review as there can be. All the following information is shown in the film’s official trailer.

The film is somewhat tongue-in-cheek about its use of violence. This is not a painstakingly accurate war film by any measure. Instead, it is a framework that evokes the type of Finnish grit.

The title of the film is derived from a Finnish concept of the same name that is defined as a stoic resilience in the face of hardship. It’s said to not have an English equivalent. Words like tenacity, grit, resilience and determination have similar meaning but do not outright suggest bravery or guts.

And there are plenty of guts.

The setting is 1944, Finland, where the Nazis have been instituting a scorched earth and land mine strategy to decimate the Finnish forces in the country.

The film centers on gold prospector Aatami Korpi, portrayed by Jorma Tommila, as he wants nothing more than to put war behind him and pursue his dream of riches.

Through some effort, Korpi successfully acquires a significant gold cache from the lode and attempts to make his way to the nearest town to cash it.

Unfortunately for him, a platoon of SS Nazi troopers is leaving a wake of destruction behind them until they encounter Korpi and his satchel packed with gold.

Korpi is pursued by SS Lieutenant Bruno Helldorf, portrayed by Aksel Hennie, as they retreat to Germany with the war winding down.

They uncover the truth behind Korpi as a fearsome veteran of the Winter War and having killed scores of Soviet troops that he earned the nickname Koschei, roughly translated as “the Immortal.”

In the film, one of the female captives Aino says in the trailer that it’s not that he is immortal, it’s that “he simply refuses to die.”

What ensues is a bloodbath that will leave most moviegoers pleased.

From the first shot to the end, the film showcases brutality of the highest order and gore that are not for the faint of heart.

There are elements of body horror as Korpi attempts to heal himself after each bout with the Nazis.

It has drawn favorable comparisons to the recent “John Wick” films for their portrayal of extremely violent action sequences.

The film is a solid recommendation to anyone that doesn’t mind seeing the Nazis get thrashed by a one-man death squad.

The film cannot recommended to anyone that is squeamish about the sight of blood and gore or anyone that is not a fan of action or war films. Stay home if you can. This film is not for you.

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