Even if i have travelled a lot i have never been to Russia. There was a time i actually had a plan to go in the early 2000´s, but i ended up going to Scotland instead ( 3 times actually, within a period of 5 years ). But i am interested in Russian history and Russian culture, and i have seen a lot of documentaries about different historical periods of Russia. The one thing i do know, is that Russian vodka is great. I used to work with a woman from Russia, who travelled back to Russia when she could, and every time she came home to Sweden she let me taste different bottles of Russian vodka. I can tell you, none of the bottles i tried turned out to be bad. I also tried some Russian food as well, and that turned out to be great as well. When it comes to Russian films, i have to be honest and say that i have not seen a lot of them. A few, but only films that have been shown in cinemas across Sweden. One of the films that i do remember is the 2004 horror film Night Watch, a Russian vampire film from director. I remember i was planning seeing this film in Stockholm at the cinema, since the film did not screen in every city across Sweden. That did not happen, so i just waited for the DVD release. Night Watch turned out to be something in my taste. A vampire movie with a slightly different approach than most films in this genre. The sequel called Day Watch, i have not seen so far, even if i have thought about seeing this film for a long time. But i do recommend that you pick up Night Watch on DVD from the UK, and you get a 2 disc DVD with nice special features. Speaking of Russian films, for quite some time i have heard about a science fiction action film called The Blackout, a futuristic Russian action film. I finally got a chance to see this film, since i have been curious to see if this is any good. I finally managed to get myself a Blu Ray copy, and the question is, could it be possible that The Blackout is one of the best action films of 2020, or is this even worse than i expected ?
In Moscow, serviceman Oleg ( Aleksey Chadov ) is on a date with a woman named Alena. As they go to his home, they are about to find out that the entire world, expect for the area around Moscow, and parts of Belarus, Ukraine and Finland is plunged into darkness. The fate of billions is unknown. Communications is down throughout the rest of the world, and only a small number of people have surcived in the area as The Circle Of Life. A defensive perimeter is established and reconnaissance groups are sent out. They find out that Earth was attacked, killing almost everything. No one knows who did this, so to defend themselves from this unknown enemy, the humans mobilize an army.
If you are a fan of futuristic sci fi action films, then i have a feeling that The Blackout might be what you have been looking for. This is a film that is clearly inspired by classic films such as Blade Runner, and perhaps even inspired by Starship Troopers as well, especially in one big battle scene. The biggest surprise for me personally about The Blackout, is how professional this film looks like from a technical perspective. The settings looks great, and the CGI effects are actually better than i expected. I have to mention that the military scenes also looks great, that you can tell that they tried to make the operations look great on camera with the right weapons, and the right costumes. There is one problem with this film, that you will cleary notice. This film is dubbed from Russian to English, and the dubbing does not fit very well with the mouths talking. It is almost like watching a 70´s kung fu film, where the actor seems to be speaking, and the dubbed language comes later. It´s not annoying all the time, just in some scenes where it becomes very clear that the dubbing does not match well. I should probably watch the film with Russian language next time with English subtitles. But other than this, i can´t really complain. For an action sci fi film i am impressed of how well made this film is. It is like stepping into a big budget production, where they clearly wanted to bring back the military action films of the 80´s and the 90´s. The acting in this film is very divided, and to be honest i can ´t say that the whole cast does a fantastic job. I would say that you would probably enjoy this film more if you focus on the action scenes, and not think too much on the acting. I will mention though that Russian actor Aleksey Chadov ( who you can see in both Night Watch and the sequel Day Watch ) does a pretty good job with his character Oleg. Directors Egor Baranov and Nathalia Hencker delivers an action film that i had no expectations of, and they surprised me more than i expected. They have managed to make a sci fi film that feels more interesting than most action films released in these days. If you are a fan of futuristic action films, you got to pick up The Blackout on DVD or Blu ray. I can only imagine how many families would play this film on Christmas, and that is something i hope we can make reality.