An old guy (Sam Elliot) sits alone at a bar gazing at his reflection in the mirror. The film morphs to Nazi Germany and a young man on a deadly mission. This begins the story of “The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Big Foot.”
The venerable Sam Elliot stars as the man of the title but that title is a bit misleading. Sure, it is accurate but the film goes far beyond those two acts of mayhem. It is a character study of a man near the end of his life whose past deeds and decisions have haunted him for his long life.
I, like most who first saw the title, expected a low-budget, kitschy “hunting monsters” no-brainer. Instead, first-time feature writer-director Robert D. Krzykowski creates, around his veteran star, a work that is two very different stories in one package.
The story that you came for – and the title says exactly what you came for – is a satisfying dual kitsch. The death of the Nazi leader, it turns out, is not the war winner that Calvin and his mission handlers expected. That fact has colored his life direction and he is at a time in that life where he needs to face his past demons, including a true love lost. The Bigfoot portion of the story is the End-of-the-World-as-We-Know-It tale where a plague threatens mankind – and only Calvin can stop it. Enough said about that.
Yes, you came for the title and you will be pleased by what you see. For me, though, the real draw is Sam Elliot’s thoughtful performance as Calvin. He gives depth to the role and evokes both my sympathy and my empathy. There is a melancholy feel of a man who made decisions when young that, in his twilight years and in retrospect, he knows were misguided. Elliot conveys both the sturdy manliness and sensitive introspection of a man who has lived, loved and lost. I give it a B.
Laura gives "The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot" a B-.
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