Calvin Barr, an old, bitter recluse who was once a legendary assassin for the US government, and whose task to kill Hitler almost changed the course of WWII, is asked to come back from retirement for one final top secret mission – to track down and eliminate a Bigfoot that became infected with a deadly disease that could spread to others if the creature remains on the loose in the forest for too long. During the mission, Barr’s WWII past is shown through flashbacks.
User Reviews: This is a movie with the most campy title and premise that is more character-driven drama then guilty b-movie action entertainment. Its surprising prestige that elevates its genre setting comes a lot from Sam Elliot’s performance and director Robert D. Kryzowski’s focus on the emotional weight of the protagonist’s journey.
Elliot carries this strange absurd premise as Calvin Barr, a retired veteran living in solitude. As the man who assassinated the titled Nazis leader in secrecy during WW2 (played by Aiden Turner as the young Calvin), he feels regret that his mission mattered very little to world while the love of his life, Maxine (Caitlin FitzGerald) had to move on herself when he returned home. When an American agent (played by Ron Livingston) asks for Calvin’s skills and service to kill the titled creature to prevent it from spreading humanity-ending disease, it becomes a catalyst for Calvin to find some form of redemption to give purpose in his life.
Elliot doesn’t just rely on his usual charm and charisma but shows vulnerability in his character’s state of mind. From moments where he breaks down into sadness when thinking about the life he could have had or being forced to inflict harm on another thing, we are shown that Calvin is not the war hero that lived a happy life but instead is this old warrior fading away into nothing more then a myth that glorifies his violent actions.
And it surprisingly fits thematically when the film explores him killing Hitler and the Bigfoot (as the title says so not a complete spoiler). The two well-known figures are interpreted in ways one would not expect as Hitler’s evil was more powerful and contagious then history described and Bigfoot is seen less as a classical movie monster but as this damaged being in pain much like Calvin is internally. You still get a memorable bloody fight between Calvin and the legendary creature (even if gets too silly) but by the end you feel the tragedy for both Calvin and the Bigfoot.
Outside of Elliot’s performance and his character’s journey, the movie does have weak aspects. When it tries to embrace its b-movie cheesy elements they feel forced and distracting to the point it hurts the serious weight the story has built. While the film doesn’t spend too time much trying to justify or explain its ridiculous plot, the slow pace can feel like its dragging even near the end. Plus the music felt like it was from a 90’s hallmark soap opera that didn’t feel like it fit.
As silly as this movie gets, I never felt it was trying to entertainment me with cheap thrills. Elliot’s awards-worthy performance and its examination on the glorification of myth and history made for an engaging piece of dramatic art to analyze and appreciate. Give this movie a watch. It will certainly be a memorable and surprising experience even if gets too crazy for its own good at times.