Action films sometimes involving terrorists, hostages and almost superhuman heroes saving the day. With those tropes, the benchmark film that comes to mind instantly has to be Die Hard. There have been plenty of copycats over the years, including White House Down, Under Siege and Olympus Has Fallen. But none of them have quiet reached the level of the original entry in the Bruce Willis starring series. Still, each of the copycats follow a typical sequences of beats and find ways to not only keep viewers entertained, but allow for more knock-offs to be made. Attack on Finland is the latest.
Terrorists lay siege to Finland’s Presidential Palace on Independence Day. Under attack, government agents summon security service officer Max Tanner (BlacKkKlansman’s Jasper Pääkkönen) to play negotiator. He has to save the lives of the President and his guests. He quickly discovers however that things aren’t what they seem. And the motives of the terrorists are much more complicated than he was originally led to believe. He does have an ally trapped inside with the terrorists. But that ally, Sylvia Madsen (Black Widows‘ Nanna Blondell), hasn’t exactly been the most reliable agent ever. That’s because a recent mission went sideways and she accidentally killed a kid. To do his job Tanner will need to make painful decisions that could scar him for the rest of his life.
Attack on Finland does follow many of the tried and true methods of action films from the 80s and early 90s. But it does manage to still forge its own path. For instance, you never know which characters you can trust or why they are doing the things they are doing. Most films like Die Hard only have a limited amount of characters to follow, and it’s pretty apparent where each stand. Yet Attack on Finland introduces a wide range of characters who all have their own motivations.
The film does a good job of building suspense, and watching Tanner figure things out is entertaining, but the film has a problem with editing. Scenes go on way too long, which slows down the pace of the film. As it stands the film is close to two hours long, and twenty minutes or so could have been cut to speed things up.
If you are looking for an decent action film, Attack on Finland could fill the need. While it’s not overly unique, it is fun to watch and worth a couple hours of your time.