Running Time: 1hr 38min
Release Date: July 20, 2018 (Fantasia Fest)
Written/Directed by: Robert D. Krzykowski
Review by: Stacey
I know I wasn't the only one who was really excited to see Krzykowski's feature length debut based off of the title alone- but couple that with THE Sam Elliott in the lead?? C'mon, it was a no-brainer that I was going to have to see this with my own eyes and report back to my readers about this one. And check out that awesome poster (I was tweeted earlier today and informed that the poster art was created by Johnny Tabor)!
Ok ok, I'm going to have to pump the brakes and let you all know that what you're going to find yourself getting into isn't exactly what you're thinking. And I can say that confidently because I'm sure that we ALL had an idea of what we thought this movie was going to be about. Well, it wasn't exactly...and that's not a bad thing!
Calvin Barr (Sam Elliott) is a legendary war vet who was tasked with killing Hitler during WW2. He lives his life with his dog and goes about his day-to-day routine while reminiscing to himself at times about his past (which he isn't exactly at liberty to discuss with people), until one night government folk show up at his house and assign him another lofty task: kill Bigfoot (who has some wild plague that threatens to wipe humanity out).
Yes, the movie is exactly what the film's title lays out. There's no hidden meaning there. What isn't hidden in this movie, however, is the heart and thoughtfulness it has. Barr doesn't act like some war hero; in fact, he believes that his actions in WW2 were fruitless and he explains why so in a great scene when he's speaking to the government officials. At the core of The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, is a story about a lonely man who wishes he could change the past and gain back a lost love.
Earlier when I said I'm sure we all had the same idea of how the movie would play out, I can bet it was one of action-packed scenes and Sam Elliott playing a grizzled old badass, right? Even the poster art has something Tarantino-esque about it. Well, while Elliott does play a badass (in the first several minutes there's a quick but stellar beatdown scene played out to Bill Withers' "Use Me"), he stays relatively docile throughout the first half of the film. It's not until the second half, when we finally even hear of the Bigfoot, that we see him go into mission-mode. His character has a serene craftiness to him that makes him the perfect man for the job. He can't be bothered with walkie talkies or outside influences, it's him and the Bigfoot, y'all.
Also, while there were some key players in this one, Elliott nailed it and drove it home, naturally. His badassery seems effortless and I long to be that cool one day. Second to him, his brother (played by Larry Miller) was great as well and gave some familial and heartwarming ties to Barr. Ron Livingston (The Conjuring, Band of Brothers) showed up as an FBI agent and is always a welcome player in any movie for me, personally.
I know that the main major complaint for the movie is going to be expectations. To be fair, the movie isn't a victim of false marketing; he does kill Hitler, and he does kill Bigfoot. It's just not played out in a way that you think. And I can see pacing being an issue- only clocking in at just a little over 90 min, there's a lot of heavy dialogue-driven scenes before we can get to the meat of the tale. I can assure you though, that your time used on the movie won't be in vain and once you hit the half of the movie with Bigfoot, we get some great fight scenes (and grossouts).
I confidently believe that once viewers get over their initial disappointment and the minor flaws in the film, they'll find a highly enjoyable movie that leaves you with some good feels.
Sorry y'all, I'm not sure a trailer has even been released for this one!