A Russian KGB agent is sent to Africa to kill an anti-Communist black revolutionary. However, he has a change of heart when he sees how the Russians and their Cuban allies are killing and ... See full summary »
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A Russian KGB agent is sent to Africa to kill an anti-Communist black revolutionary. However, he has a change of heart when he sees how the Russians and their Cuban allies are killing and repressing the locals, so he switches sides and helps the rebels. Written by
The tank used in the final battle sequence is a soviet-made WWII-era T-34 with an 85mm canon. See more »
During the first chase scene, a Russian soldier fires an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) at a truck. The soldier fires the weapon even though there is clearly no rocket inserted in the launcher. See more »
Lame and overpatriotic, but not as brainless as you might think
Red Scorpion was filmed and released in the final months of the Cold War when communism was soon to fall. The 1980s saw a whole range of anti-Soviet films (which, in their style, were technically propaganda) as well as films promoting peace between the United States and Soviet Union (the most odd example probably being Red Heat)
This is certainly of the former camp. Portraying Dolph Lundgren as a mindless automaton of Soviet-era Russia, he fights with dedication for his Soviet commanders, until he is thrown in jail for drunken behaviour. There he meets a resistance fighter, who the Soviet command have designated as a terrorist threat, and learns the "truth" about the Soviet presence.
Looking beyond the mindless action scenes (which, despite the countless guns and explosions), there is a good fable about the possibility of manipulating truth, and how appearance is not always truth. It's nothing deep, and won't have film academics breaking out in a sweat, but it does add some interesting twists to the story.
Dolph Lundgren's acting, as always, does leave a lot to be desired, but then this film does seem to be concentrating more on the storyline and action. His education by an African Bushman is particularly funny, even touching at times as you see the relationship between Nikolai and the Bushman develop. It's just a shame that more wasn't made of it.
All in all, the film does try to be what it isn't but doesn't suffer for it
indeed, at times, it even shows signs of succeeding.
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