Visually great looking Russian action thriller taking
place in the Caucasus region of the Russian Federation in 2004 during
the Second Chechen
war. Based on real events, when the Chechen warlord Shamil Bazgayev/Basayev
with support from "foreign countries" fought for an independent
independent islamic state. The film mentions the islamist terrorist
attack in Beslan, North Ossetia in September 2004 where over 300 people,
of them children, died. Russia have had "trouble" with their
Caucasus states since the 19th century, and foreign countries have fueled,
surely continue to do so, the unrest, and to provide weapons and training
for the insurgents including foreign jihadi fighters.
In the films intro we get to see how the Chechen leader
Shamil Bazgayev (Ayub Tsingiev) executes a young russian soldier, and
how the other
older prisoner, Captain Egor (Igor Petrenko) is spared to be used as
a hostage switch.
Beautiful Caucasus and i hope i will get to visit
this region sometime (when the Covid-19 hell is over)
Two year on, in Caucasus, Ingushetia 2004, five anti
aircraft robots has disappeared and fallen into Bazgayev's hands, and
Russian FSB, the
Federal Security Service sends a special operations squad to Caucasus,
including Egor, his friend Ravil (Aleksey Vertkov), Lieutenant Timur
(Ivan Shakhnazarov), an Origami maker of Cranes (perhaps a nod to "Bladerunner")
and their boss, the General (Aleksey Shevchenkov).
Luckily the robots stolen won't reach their targets however, a code
is needed for that and a furious Bazgayev can see it turn off before
it's intended target (a helicopter).
But there has been robberies all over the region by
the rebels and they also receive fundings from abroad, and the question
is - what do
Bazgayev need all the money for ? Some FSB action raids and intelligence
work gives the answer: He needs it for buying weapons and some
deadlier rocket launchers from Georgia to attack an international summit
in Saint Petersburg and to try and take down the plane of the President.
The money to the Georgians will be delivered by a quiet family man and
merchant Isa (finely played by Dmitry Parastayev).
This was a pretty good action-thriller due to the fine
cinematography by Alik Tagirov and the exotic location shooting in Caucasus.
The Helicopter attack was nicely staged and with real explosions (i
think). Dmitry Parastayev and Ayub Tsingiev were good as Isa and
Shamil Bazgayev. Weirdly enough the supposedly hero of the film, Captain
Egor wasn't very likeable at all, constantly harassing the
youngest member of the FSB unit, Timur, an asshole really but perhaps
he was supposed to be funny ?
Egor was incompetent too missing Bazgayev's secret hiding place and
thereby also causing Timur's death as he was left alone as guard.
I'm not sure if Igor Petrenko was meant to be likeable, after all War
changes every man to the worse and he had experienced some shit.
This alternative market DVD presents the film in a fine
anamorphic widescreen ratio (not stated but 2.40:1 perhaps) and in russian
with also fine english subtitles, region ALL