A perfectly depraved night at the movies

We are told at the beginning of this little cinematic gem that the Finnish term “sisu” has no direct equivalent in English. It means stoic determination, grit, tenacity of purpose, bravery, resilience and hardiness. 

In the final days of WWII, as defeated German troops trudge across Finland in a scorched-earth retreat, an aging prospector (Jorma Tommila) hits the Big One and pulls several kilos of gold from the ground in the Lapland wilderness. 

But he runs afoul of a ruthless tank platoon traveling with a truckload of abducted sex slaves and led by a sadistic Nazi villain. They of course relieve him of his treasure, but make the mistake of sparing his life, as he’s headed into a minefield anyway. 

Then it gets interesting. You see, they have unwittingly stolen from a legendary retired Finnish guerilla fighter who has earned the sobriquet “The Immortal” for being, as they find out, very, very hard to kill. Or as one character puts it, “He’s not really immortal; he just refuses to die.”

This is a guy that Rambo aspires to be in the kind of movie Michael Bay thinks he makes. Hell, it’s better than either Equalizer 3 or John Wick 4. Tarantino is reportedly envious.

Director Jalmari Helander’s odd film is not always 100 percent plausible, but it’s constantly inventive, entertaining, explosively gory, and darkly hilarious. Definitely headed for cult status. Regular readers know I’m not a big fan of blood-splattered war/revenge actioners, but this one is impossible not to like. I had a blast. (91 min).

Out in theatres now.