Ekipazh (Air Crew, 2016)

DVD edition

Text written 2020-11-10

Yeesssss! Finally! A Russian mainstream action thriller blockbuster for me to see. Unfortunately i can't read or speak russian, so i need
english subtitles and not many of the russian films have any such if the DVD or Blu-ray are released in Russia. I've had to buy mostly UK
releases of russian films and then mostly it's Art movies we're talking about. OK, i love art movies and indie oddities too, but it's so
nice to be able to watch a regular russian Blockbuster now and then as there's something special about them. They are almost always
entertaining, snappily made and with good actors. I want more russian popcorn movies shown in the west, please release them with
english subtitles, please. Yeah, i know, you can watch them on the Net and catch some fan subs, but i'm old school and to lazy for that.

So, a russian airplane disaster film and a re-make of an old Soviet 1980 movie, could that be something to watch ?
The Answer was YES! Ekipazh was surprisingly entertaining and suspenseful, yes, actually thrilling for real and that was some time ago
for me to experience that when watching a movie. Also, the acting was fine and .... maybe most important if a film as this will work or not,
the special effects looked GREAT. It was a blockbuster HIT and also nominated for the Russian Oscar, The 2017 Golden Eagle Award.

This film consists of two parts, the drama build-up part and the disaster action thriller explosions part, and both works just fine and the
2 hours and 17 minutes goes by fast. Lyosha Gushin (Danila Kozlovskiy, see pic above) is an ex-army pilot now doing cargo flights
with a Tupolev plane. He has a problem with authority persons and he's something of a loose cannon, and during a stormy flight,
when he's told to dump cargo (childrens toys and such) but to save some oligarch's expensive cars, then he .... dumps the cars.
Fired yet again from his pilot job his father Nikolai (veteran actor Sergei Shakurov) manages to set up a flight simulator test for him
at some small but reputable airline looking for new pilots to their fleet.

Lyosha fails the test however and he thinks he's without a job again, BUT there wouldn't be any film if that was the case. When the
very serious pilot Leonid Zinshenko (the great Vladimir Mashkov, see pic above) who overlooked the testings, tries the hard, the very
hard flight simulator test himself, he fails too, and actually everyone failed the test. And, voilá, Lyosha gets the test pilot job as a co-pilot
to Leonid, who has domestic problems with his rebellious slacker son Valera (Sergey Romanovich). But this wouldn't be a disaster
movie if a role figure like that didn't get the chance of redeeming himself later on.

And, handsome Lyosha (the female crew members seems to think that it seems) gets into a erotic affair with female pilot Alesandra,
called Xasha (Agne Grudyte) to the irritation of the jealous steward. So, the first part of this movie is a drama about the life of airline
pilots, and it's actually pretty engaging as that because of the good acting. But, suddenly they're assigned to do a Special Mission .....

and the second part, the disaster part, kicks in.

They are to land on something called Kanwoo Island as a rescue plane and to evacuate people suffering from an eartquake and an
erupting volcano. Everything is exploding (in surprisingly well made effects and the CGI wasn't shamefully cringy this time) and the
question is: Will there be a daring and crazy resque against all odds ? No, no, there couldn't possibly be .... or, could it ?
Final words: Great stuff and very recommended for lovers of hero disaster airplane movies and for lovers of great russian actors

DVD had a 2.0 DD stereo russian audio with often hard to read (understand) english subtitles and with a widescreen ratio


Back to Russian Film page