Michael Fassbender's 'The Snowman' melts before audiences' eyes

Film adaptation is of Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø's best-selling novel


SAN ANTONIO – Every now and then a film comes along and resets your expectations for movies. 

Universal Pictures' "The Snowman" is movie that had both high hopes and an impressive cast, yet only found a way to demonstrate how difficult movie making can be.  

Directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and with a cast of Michael Fassbender, J.K. Simmons,  James D'Arcy, Rebecca Ferguson, and Val Kilmer, it becomes incredibly hard to understand why, even with late edits, "The Snowman" struggled.

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The movie is based off of Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø’s best-selling novel, a story that has so much source-material it is as if the movie makers became confused with what exactly to use.

Harry Hole (played by Michael Fassbender) is a homicide detective who attempts to find the identity of a killer who leaves a snowman as a calling card.

Hole, a legendary crime solver and known alcoholic, longs for a case to solve to help deal with a recent intense break up. When a series of killings involving female victims with infidelity suddenly occurs, Hole partners with a young up-and-comer to get on the case.

The movie does have some visually appealing images of Norway in the snow as the backdrop and it never exactly feels tedious. Yet sadly, the movie holds on just well enough that audiences watching will hold out for a quality conclusion that never ultimately comes.

Other movies of the same vein that demonstrate what the movie should be include "Seven" or the more recent "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". Unfortunately, unlike those films, this one fails to keep moviegoers on the edge of their seat wondering both the reasons for the killings as well as whodunit. 


Director Tomas Alfredson blamed a short filming schedule in which as much as 15% of the screenplay wasn't even shot during principal photography -- in response to the overly critical reviews of the film.

"Our shoot time in Norway was way too short, we didn't get the whole story with us and when we started cutting we discovered that a lot was missing,"Alfredson said. "It's like when you're making a big jigsaw puzzle and a few pieces are missing so you don't see the whole picture."

Early projections indicate that the film still may make around $10 million over the weekend.

Interesting note -- according to Variety, a plan was in place to create a series of films using the Harry Hole character but with the fate of this film, that now seems unlikely.

The film opens in 1,800 theaters and has an abysmal 12% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It is 1 hour and 59 minutes long and is rated R. It opens nationwide on Oct. 20.

You can view the trailer below or by clicking here.

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