Directed by Aku Louhimies, Attack on Finland takes place primarily during the celebration of Finland’s Independence Day. When the festivities are interrupted by a brutal terrorist attack and guests are taken hostage, secret service agent Max Tanner (Jasper Paakkonen) is called into action. However, as the conspiracy unravels, Tanner and his former partner, Sylvia Madsen (Nanna Blondell), work together to uncover the secret of who’s trying to destabalize the government.
Although its furiously paced and filled with action, Attack on Finland still feels relatively run of the mill in terms of political thrillers. Despite the fact that the films are entirely unrelated, one cannot help but draw ties to Gerard Butler’s recent …Has Fallen franchise. In each of those increasingly absurd films, Butler’s rogue agent attempts to protect various political figureheads from assassination with the ‘world at stake’. While Finland never fully reaches the wild heights of that franchise, it’s not a stretch to suggest that it might fit neatly into the canon with its non-sensical plot and endless stream of political villains. But, while the film itself doesn’t feel particularly special, its greatest strength is also the most simple.
No, Attack on Finland doesn’t particularly set itself apart from the pack with originality or style. Russian hackers, government betrayals and strained alliances do their best to bring surprises to the film (and, occasionally, even succeed). However, Louihimes doesn’t necessarily need grand plot twists or grand social commentary to make it entertaining. If anything, Finland works because of its set pieces. From car chases to raids of government buildings, the film keeps the adrenaline ride moving. With an endless parade of gunfire, explosions and stunt work, Finland still keeps you interested, even in the moments where the script is lacking coherence.
Admittedly, underneath the gunfire, there isn’t a whole lot to cling to here. A storyline about Finland’s desire to join the EU is interesting but barely fleshed out. Character work for its leads remains shallow. (In truth, Sylvia Madsen has the potential to steal the film but is given little to do.)
But, in the end, that doesn’t really matter.
The goal of Attack on Finland is not to push boundaries or challenge ideas. Instead, this remains primarily a shoot-‘em-up political thriller designed for spectacle and, in that respect, it succeeds. Stunts are impressive, heroes are lauded and villains get their come-uppance.
And sometimes, that’s all a film needs to feel like it’s worth your time.
Attack on Finland is available on VOD on Friday, July 1st, 2022.