While fairly predictable, it's good predictable; you really want the things that turn out well to turn out well. That's largely due to Mart Avandi disciplined performance. And the sentimentality that some are complaining of here—c'mon, they're kids. On top of that, it's absolutely gorgeous.
After a string of engaging films Härö has succumbed some sort of ennui. What has the stuff of becoming a great film only manages to reach "good". It all looks and sounds right but the story and characters feel half done and we never really get to know the people in the film. What should have been three dimensional humans becomes more like stereotypes we have seen a million times before. Good but not good enough.
There's really nothing fundamentally bad about this film, but that's really because it's sticking to tried and tested formulas. Really, if you know your sports, teachers and anti-establishment films, "The Fencer" doesn't have anything new to offer you. I also didn't care for the 80's-esque over-vilification of the antagonists.