I was able to see this movie last night at the Plaza Theatre Classic Film Festival held in El Paso, Texas. Apparently, many people involved in this film have made El Paso home and the star, Sam Elliott has El Paso ties as well. So we (everyone in attendance last night) were privileged to see it's American debut and I have to say for a movie that didn't start till almost 11:30 pm and ran into the wee hours of the night all 1,400 people stayed. That should say something about it in and of itself. It takes awhile to get ahold of what's going on but once you "buy into" the story line it takes you on a crazy journey and in the end that's what good movies are about. You won't be disappointed! And to answer the question, "What's in the box?" the writer was also present last night and he said, .... Nevermind, I don't want to ruin it for you.
Carrying a deadly secret, an aging WWII soldier who's never revealed the deadly truth about his past involvement in World War II is called back into service by the government to stop a rampaging Bigfoot-like creature carrying a deadly virus through the wilderness and sets out to stop it.Frankly, this emerged as a wholly impressive and enjoyable outing. One of the many engaging elements present here is the manner in which this partakes in the commentary on old age. Throughout the film, the numerous instances of his coming to terms with his advancing age and the effect that has on him tells a wonderful story about the way his life has turned him into. From the series of flashbacks to his past in the war, not only the series of scenes detailing how he managed to carry out the mission but the pre-mission preparations that are just as important that are showcased here, to the way we see him longing at the memories of the past with the mementos and objects he carries with him which manage to bring this point home quite nicely. All the remembrances he gets of the past through the common everyday acts or items he encounters simply completes the picture of how he remains burdened with his life and can't do much with it. Once it gets into the main meat of the story, this backstory about the man who's skillset proved useful in the past and is now catching up to him causes plenty of fun to be had in the final half where it turns into a rather enjoyable series of confrontations against the creature out in the wilderness. Putting on more of a hunting/tracking display on encounters, ranging from him sniping at the creature out in the distance to the decoys and other back-and-forth encounters that are given a glorious backdrop of the expansive woods of Canada to play in. Taking the adventure route here instead of the horror route allows this one to work more on the genesis of him physically hunting the creature through the area as well as getting in a fine physical brawl between the two that works mainly on that level. These here are what really help this one to overcome its minor flaws. All told, there's not much truly wrong with this one beyond what might be audience expectations. Those going into this one expecting a rousing, wild action-packed film with a series of ridiculous action scenes showing an alternate version of history that would let the commonly-known version of history play out as it normally would are going to be sorely mistaken here in that it's nothing of the sort. It's so late into the movie that they even first mention the creature, a later time than that before he even agrees to the mission and it's so short that there's more time after the encounter than the overall confrontation itself. It doesn't spend enough time at all on the concept of the creature running loose at all to really make much of an impression in that regard, which is just as well considering the ugly and somewhat goofy looking costume given to the creature. However, those expecting a genuine creature feature will be let down here which is the main issue to be had here.Rated Unrated/R: Violence and Language.