There’s one thing we can all agree on: The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is a pretty weird and long name for a movie. This is one of the hardest films to do a review on, because the title immediately gives away the simple plot by already spoiling what’s going to happen. Just by thinking about this ridiculous premise, it definitely sounds like a fun and entertaining flick, but it’s nothing like that. If you’re hoping it’s an action-packed blockbuster from the get-go, you’re going to be hugely disappointed. It’s supposed to be a dramatic character-driven story about this lonely man trying to move on from his past, while still having to go on another mission and save the world once again.
Written and directed by Robert D. Krzykowski in his feature film directorial debut, the movie concentrates on a man named Calvin Barr with two different actors playing the same character. Sam Elliott plays him in the present, while Aidan Turner plays him in the World War II era. It goes back and forth with the two timelines, and there are interesting aspects that have heavily affected his life such as the war and his relationship with a woman named Maxine (Caitlin Fitzgerald). You get to see a lot of his personal struggles from both the past and the present, and that’s pretty much the gist of what this movie is all about.
Obviously, Calvin Barr is the best part of the film. Both Elliott and Turner do a great job playing this character, and it’s really interesting to see his evolution. Since he’s being played by two actors in different timelines, they add some unique elements to their portrayals of this man, which makes it quite compelling. While the main protagonist undeniably stands out from the rest, unfortunately the other characters are pretty bland. Also, you can tell what Krzykowski has been trying to do with the romance between Barr and Maxine, but it’s just not fully developed so you don’t really care about it.
Even if the film has a simple premise, the pacing is incredibly slow. Some scenes add nothing to the story, while some of them are just underdeveloped. The director doesn’t know how to juggle these two storylines in a cohesive manner, and that makes the movie unfocused at times. Krzykowski’s script has so much going on, which ultimately drags the flow of the narrative. The last act is what you will have been waiting to see, while the beginning and the middle are just dull.
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is undeniably an ambitious film. When you finish watching it, you can tell Krzykowski is really passionate about being a filmmaker and bringing his screenplay to life on the big screen. However, this is just a slow and boring movie to sit through. Even if it has a great lead character who’s played by two talented actors, the film has wasted potential, while it could have been embracing the silliness of its premise.
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot had its Canadian premiere at Fantasia Film Festival in July 2018. Look out for it on DVD later this year.