Immensely promising, and utterly defrauding, Smilla’s Sense Of Snow would’ve been a great movie thanks to the interesting storyline that it had, and also since it was based on the phenomenal bestseller by Peter Hoeg. What it turns out to be is again another wretched formula movie with scenes and scenery that looks like it were taken straight out of an X-Files episode. I’ve had more fun watching the X-Files than watching 2 hours go away in this unfortunate train wreck.Smilla Jaspersen (Julia Ormond looking unusually hot) is a lonely hard-ass bitch with shitty background living in Copenhagen, Denmark, when all of a sudden, his best friend, whom happens to be 6 year old Eskimo descendant Isaiah (Clipper Miano), falls off a roof in what it looks like to be an accident. But Smilla senses something in the snow. Isaiah was afraid of heights, and the way footprints in the snow were pressed indicated that he was running away from somebody, so she decides to go and seek for the truth of why he was killed. But then the local government tells her to fuck off and mind her own business, but after a slight scare shake, he’s encouraged by his next-door neighbor and future lover (Gabriel Byrne) whom we never get to know his name other than him being a mechanic, and also a VERY mysterious guy (you got to be stupid not to figure out what his role is in the movie), and Smilla once again is going from rags to riches to solve the case (Erin Brokovich anyone? Oh wait, EB wasn’t released back then so, never mind). After sniffing into a major company called Greenland Mining, and its CEO, Andreas Tork (Richard Harris), she soon discovers that the Isaiah and his father went to an expedition that discovered a meteor which started giving off diseases that would be fatal to the human body.
"Slyder’s Sense of Cliché"
Sounds promising? Well, it was promising. The idea was of utmost interest and I liked the scientific part of it. The book called for a director that had an eye for detail and knowledge on how to build suspense, and a screenwriter capable of making an adaptation that was true to the book its based on. Seems that studio executives eluded this, and gave hit-miss director Bille August (House Of The Spirits, Pelle The Conqueror) the job, and the screenwriting job to Ann Biderman (Primal Fear, Copycat). The result is both hits and misses. The story starts promising enough, and the movie draws your attention from the start as the plot starts guiding you through the twists and turns, but soon the flaws start to appear as the holes on a piece of Swiss Cheese. Smilla is never a likeable character, and behaves more like a bitch. Then his relationship with the Mechanic is never believable, much less likeable. There are scenes of unnecessary violence especially when a couple of government fucks try to force her out of her house, in the most ridiculous of ways, and the Mechanic coming to the rescue. Then her climbing the fence of a prohibited area, which is the Greenland Mining facility, and giving the dog some kind of shit that makes him sleep. Then when she’s meeting that tape specialist, you immediately are going to know that that guy will be killed and she’ll be almost killed too, but will escape soon after that. And then when they’re pursuing her, the Mechanic holds the doors of a casino shut and yells her to flee, which she does, but wait, Smilla forgot to kiss him, which she does, now she runs away.
There are more clichés that I found that would be more than enough for me to ridicule this film, and to certify it as piece of junk. Smilla’s father Moritz (Robert Loggia) is married to a bitch called Benja (Emma Croft), whom has a hatred for Smilla. Yeah, she’s an eville girl, and what the fuck is her point in the movie? Emma is a waste of human existence that adds the film some unnecessary stupidity to the film. Then Smilla grabs her by her cunt and by her neck and snarls: Leave Me Alone!!!
Oooh, tough girl, and the way she says it is soooo lame, it just make you want to burst out laughing. I was expecting some lesbian sex to come afterwards but never happened. Big fucking deal.
We see her on a ship and with Tork right there beside her, and she’s ready to kill him. Alas, Professor Loyen (Tom Wilkinson in a wasted role) comes into the room and she has to find cover, and narrowly escapes. And all of this leads into more stupid escapes and all the way to the meteor scene. Our heroine has SOOO many lucky escapes from death, it’s just dumb and takes off any seriousness that this film was trying to build at the beginning, and starts playing more like an X-Files rip-off, whereas Mulder’s escapades have some intelligence on them, this film has STUPID written all over it. The ending was such a fucking groaner and it just proves that the bad guy, despite being defeated and all, in Hollywood terms, MUST DIE NO MATTER WHAT. And what a more stupid way to die they pick. If you ever seen those Looney Tunes cartoons where Foghorn Leghorn’s ice skates are sharp enough to cut through the ice and make him dive into the icy cold water, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Oh, and don’t bother about the FX, since they’re lame.
The acting was at times pathetic. Julia Ormond overacts too much in her role as Smilla that is at best, annoying, and at worst, laughable. Gabriel Byrne is a stone as his stoned face shows, probably because his character is that way or because he’s pretty much a stone after all. Richard Harris seems to be the only one really acting (and is the best of the three) but that’s because he’s Richard Harris. Director Bille August tries a lot, but in the end what he delivers is just another formulaic wannabe mystery drama that just falls flat on its face every time. And curiously, after this turd, Ann Biderman hasn’t written anything ever since.In the end, if you’re a fan of Julia Ormond or a fan of bad film or both, I guess this film is for you. But this film was a disappointment, and I felt ripped off my time when I saw this garbage, especially when the previews hyped a lot more promise than what this film brought. I rather watch the X-Files movie than sit through this again, and if you’re an intelligent lad, you might want to avoid this film. (1.5-5)
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=289&reviewer=235
originally posted: 07/04/02 14:29:37