Title: The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot
Director: Robert D. Krzykowski
Starring: Aidan Turner, Sam Elliott, Sean Bridgers, Caitlin Fitzgerald
Runtime: 1 hr 38 mins
What It Is: A World War II veteran, Calvin Barr, looks back on the choices he made in his life as both a soldier and a love-struck man. As Calvin lives out his days in the peace of his own home, the government unexpectedly asks him to track and kill The Bigfoot, a mythical, virus-carrying creature that is a large threat to humanity.
What We Think: The title of this film parallels exactly what it is: intriguing and then… a bit confusing! The beginning of the story unravels before your eyes seamlessly, literally, with transitions from the present to the past that are as smooth and natural as inhaling and exhaling. (The cinematography and settings for both time periods were beautiful!) In the present, the character Calvin (Sam Elliott) mimics Robert McCall in The Equalizer: a bad-ass old man who can kill you if he so chooses due to his military background, but is actively trying to repress his traumatic experiences. I argue that this film took elevated the character by including not only his experiences as a soldier but as a heartbroken man. It presents the bittersweet, yet all too familiar theme of having regrets about choices made during one’s lifetime. Masterfully, Krzykowski sent a message about United States war veterans and how they survive post-war in a simple exchange between Calvin and a convenience store employee. In the past, Calvin (Aidan Turner) and his love interest, Maxine (Caitlin Fitzgerald) were placed in a wonderfully vintage setting and premise that I fell in love with. I wished for more time with the flashbacks, but I didn’t receive enough; there wasn’t enough time because of “The Bigfoot” Calvin was assigned to kill in the present time. (Sounds random, right? Well, it was.) This sub-plot distracted me from the themes of the main story. I’m not even entirely sure why it was included in the film, as it did not compliment or add anything to the first act. It clashed against it. Krzykowski would be better off taking the whole ordeal with “The Bigfoot” and turning it into a different sci-fi movie. I wanted to stay lost in old Calvin’s thoughts and watch him move on from his regrets and missed chances. Instead, I was watching him duel with a badly costumed Bigfoot. There may be a chance that this “Bigfoot” represented something more than what it appeared to be, and in the slight chance it may have, I have no idea what it was supposed to mean.
Our Grade: B-, I only fell in love with one of the two plot points this film had. However, the second plot was still entertaining, despite it being random. I wish Krzykowski could find a better way to marry these two ideas together. Thanks to Fantasia Fest 2018 for hooking us up with this film.