The Snowman

Based on the novel by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo, this uncultivated whodunit forgets that the motivation is essential to understanding the “who.” A profiler/detective-in-training played by Rebecca Ferguson seeks out the assistance of a veteran crime solver (Michael Fassbender) on the outs with the police force to help solve a disappearance in this snowbound contrivance from director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In). Real-life serial killer Ed Kemper thought he was invisible because he got away with so much! Fictional Jigsaw is out to balance the scales of justice! The trouble with The Snowman is his crimes do not pose an immediate threat to the public at large. There is no scare factor – it’s as if the murders he commits are some kind of art project! His motivation gets lost amongst the flashbacks and talkative cutaway red herrings, and the film is constructed to reveal some elaborately heinous murder spree that simply never materializes. In fact, Val Kilmer plays a former detective who may or may not have been one of The Snowman’s victims (it’s never fully explored or verified) but is so severely re-dubbed to where he can’t be understood while wandering through desolate scenes, so that whenever the movie cuts to him, he becomes an irritant in an otherwise already assumptive plotline. And what the hell were the coffee beans all about??