The Reel Review


A gold prospector who also happens to be a legendary Finnish military commando becomes a near supernatural, one-man death squad when a group of invading German Nazi soldiers try to steal his gold, in this epic war saga set in Lapland in the waning days of World War II.

Jorma Tommila in Sisu

Sisu is a Finnish term, described as white-knuckled courage and unimaginable determination in the face of overwhelming odds. And that is what our hero has in spades, in this wildly creative and savagely violent action film, told in six quick, surprise-filled chapters, concluding with (spoiler alert!) Chapter Six: Kill ‘Em All. Imagine a gleefully surreal and violent mashup of Rambo, Mad Max: Fury Road and a spaghetti Western, set in Nazi-occupied Lapland with Finnish female prisoners of war – led by a terrific Mimosa Willamo (Lake Bodum) – who later prove that they are anything but damsels in distress. Sisu is not for the squeamish.

Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan and Onni Tommila in Sisu

Writer/director Jalmari Helander masterfully upends expectations and re-introduces a refreshingly breathless, 1980s style of filmmaking with a terrific score and spectacularly grim cinematography. Its star, Jorma Tommila, is a total badass – treating his wounds with ash and gasoline, and at one point brilliantly slicing the throats of Nazis underwater and inhaling their escaping air bubbles for oxygen. Making all those Marvel movies look dull and unimaginative by comparison, Sisu is one of the most immensely satisfying revenge sagas in years – a wonderfully absurd assault on the senses.


Sisu was filmed in Finnish Lapland, mainly near the tiny villages of Nuorgam near the Norwegian border and Kaamanen.

• Writer/director Jalmari Helander originally was planning to film a sci-fi/comedy in Canada when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, prompting him to quickly write Sisu instead.

Jalmari Helander, Onni Tommila, Anssi Marttinen and Jorma Tommila

• 64-year-old Jorma Tommila, who won the 1997 Jussi Award for his role in the Finnish crime comedy The Christmas Party, is Sisu writer/director Jalmari Helander’s brother-in-law. Tommila’s son Onni also stars in Sisu as Schütze, the Nazi tank driver.


Video & Photo

1 videos

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.