Leningrad Cowboys Go America, Aki Kaurismäki's rock satire from 1989, didn't need a sequel. Yet one was made five years later, and while worth watching, it's a definite step back compared to its predecessor.
Following their success in Mexico, the Cowboys'life ain't that good: half of them are dead or missing, and the rest spend their days getting drunk under the blazing sun. And that's when a "savior" shows up: it's none other than Vladimir (Matti Pellonpää), the band's former manager, who mysteriously disappeared at the end of the previous flick (remember? "And no one ever saw him again. Sh*t happens"). He tells them he has become Moses and that his mission is to take them back to their home-country, Russia. What he doesn't tell them is that he has also stolen the Statue of Liberty's nose, and that a CIA agent (André Wilms) is after him. In other words, it's gonna be one hell of a trip.
Shame this trip back home isn't as interesting or funny as the Cowboys'original journey to the US. This time, Kaurismäki doesn't really know what to do with his characters, as most of them are gone and what he has left isn't much around which to construct a coherent screenplay. Almost everyone's behavior has no explanation, including Vladimir/Moses', who's a far less charismatic protagonist than he was back in 1989. Still, the biblical references are amusing, as are the scenes where the Cowboys get to sing, with the usual results.
So, to sum up, this film could have been much better, but it's worth your time if you haven't already seen it.
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