Geez this guy must be a real life superhero, huh?
Synopsis: A legendary American war veteran is recruited to hunt a mythical creature. (IMDB)
Starring: Sam Elliott, Aidan Turner, and Caitlin Fitzgerald
Writer: Robert D. Krzykowski
Director: Robert D. Krzykowski
Running Time: 98mins
Directed by Robert D. Krzykowski, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot follows the story of Calvin Barr (Elliott) who lives a rather mundane life in 1987. He keeps out of the spotlight because he has a secret. During WWII, a younger Calvin (Turner) was instrumental in the assassination of Hitler leading the way to the end of the war. With Calvin almost at terms with his past, he is confronted by an FBI agent (Ron Livingston) with a mission. The elusive Bigfoot has been roaming the Canadian wilderness with a deadly virus and he is their only hope. Calvin has to grab his rifle once again to save the world for a second time.
It cannot be emphasized enough that this film is not what it seems. The title and trailer suggest either a comedy or high-concept action; in reality it’s a serious character drama that tackles some PTSD-related themes. If you go into this film with that notion out of the way then it plays as a much better narrative.
Its story is slow-paced and focuses on an older man reflecting on the decisions of his life. He is reeling with the aftermath of the war, decades later, and how he struggles to fit into society. This duality is portrayed well by the split storylines of modern day 1987 and World War II Germany. Unfortunately, the pacing feels a bit off at times as the jumps between the two time periods does ruin the built tension.
The production is marvellous. The cinematography is idyllic and awe-inspiring as the landscapes and scenes are beautifully shot. The score is triumphant and builds the atmosphere helping to accent the emotional journey at hand. This is capped off by the performances of the cast.
The dual stories focus on two versions of Calvin Barr. The younger, played by Aidan Turner, brings a subtly to the character while showing his reserve and nervous demeanour for the mission he is tasked with. Meanwhile, Sam Elliott makes this film what it is. His powerful performance carries this story like no other could bringing the guilt, regret and remorse needed for this character.
It’s not really a story about Hitler or Bigfoot, although those Bigfoot scenes border on ridiculous. Instead, it’s a story of the consequences of those situations. What kind of man will Calvin Barr be after he succeeds? It’s a very personal story of a remarkable man whose unrecognized achievements make him feel incomplete.
Overall, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot is a tense character drama that focuses more on the man and less on his accomplishments. While the film has a few pacing issues and some of the later scenes feel a bit over-the-top, the phenomenal performances, layered story, strong themes and picturesque atmosphere make for quite the remarkable tale. This film won’t be for everyone, but the story and its themes might be a pleasant surprise to some.
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot is now available on Video on Demand.
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