Starring the great Sam Elliott, THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN BIGFOOT (2019) sounds like fun, and it kind of is. Despite competent production and being full of heart, however, this disjointed film is also a bit of a letdown. The whole experience is kind of like being a kid told to get in the car cuz you’re going somewhere super fun, only to find out it’s the grocery store.
The film is about Calvin (Elliott), living out his old age in seclusion. Calvin obviously has a big hole in his life, apparently flirting with suicide and experiencing flashbacks to his mission to kill Hitler during World War 2, which made him a legend nobody ever heard of. Then government agents arrive to ask him to do one more mission for his country–kill Bigfoot, a creature living in the Canadian wilderness, which is carrying a horrific plague capable of wiping out all life on the planet, one Calvin is among the few who are naturally immune. He takes the mission, kills Bigfoot, and comes home. No spoilers here; it’s all in the title. Otherwise, a big part of the film is a romance between Calvin and the woman he loved before the war, which ended tragically.
As I said, there are a lot of solid elements here. Sam Elliott, the romance, Calvin’s relationship with his younger brother, a sad meditation on living one’s old age haunted by one’s regrets, how he feels about killing Hitler, and let’s not forget the promise of killing Hitler and Bigfoot. However, the film doesn’t unite them, resulting in a disjointed story that doesn’t quite make Calvin a superhero, doesn’t explain a bunch of meaningful incidents like what’s in the box and the pebble in his shoe, and for a character-driven story doesn’t explore Calvin’s few relationships, like the one with his younger brother and more detail about what happened to the woman he loved. Even the killing of Hitler and Bigfoot are kind of glossed over and a bit of a letdown. The whole thing is so odd I kept wondering if there was going to be a gotcha reveal that it’s all in his head.
I can almost see where the filmmakers were aiming, and it would have been something amazing if they’d pulled it off. Instead, we get a lot of great elements that are glossed over without anything holding them together. It’s a weird movie for me, as I want to say I liked it but can’t quite bring myself to do it. So give it a shot if you’re in the mood for something really quirky, noting a strong YMMV warning.