My project-1


Finland, late 1944. The retreating German army adopts a scorched-earth policy, ravaging the land and its inhabitants in their flight. Retired commando Aatami Korpi has abandoned the war to mine for gold, accompanied by his faithful dog and horse. His efforts prove fruitful, as he uncovers a sizable collection of nuggets and sets off for the nearest town, along the way encountering a group of retreating Germans, led by sadistic SS Obersturmführer Bruno Helldorf, who attempts to kill Korpi and steal his gold. Big mistake!

Taking its title from a Finnish term for going beyond one’s mental and physical limits, the film is best described as the result of crossbreeding between ’70s Macaroni Combat and dadsploitation. Sisu promises senseless violence and over-the-top action, delivering both with immense satisfaction. The soundtrack is similar to 2007’s Mongol and the cinematography gives the landscape a hellish quality reminiscent of Elem Klimov’s Come and See. Whether intentional or not, I particularly appreciated the use of anachronistic equipment used by the Germans, such as a T-54/55 masquerading as a panzer. A nod perhaps to the utilisation of contemporary tanks for Nazi vehicles in classic Hollywood war films. The entirety of the dialogue is sweary, cliché-ridden, hard-case vernacular, and by no means is that a criticism. There’s the same sense of self-awareness and punctuations of affectionate parody that made 2021’s Nobody a success.

Deliciously gory and gripping, Sisu is modern exploitation cinema at its best.


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