Bumer (2003) Poster


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An effective crime story with a soul
Tgrain28 June 2017
It is unusual that a first time director knocks it out of the park for their first feature film, especially below the age of 30 and fresh out of film school, but Buslov did it with "Boomer" (that is the correct way to pronounce it, not Bummer or Bimmer).

The story is pretty strong, it has substance and body unlike many other crime films. There is no attempt at comedy here, no desire to laugh at the expense of victims or the bad guys, nor is there action just for the sake of action. Boomer reaches into the criminal dilemma, as said by one of the criminals in rebuke to a woman who accuses him of being a bad person: It's life that's this way. The characters are real and their journeys are credible. Their environment is also effectively put across: Russia's confused 90's landscape with the criminal world on the one side, and the "suckers", the populace on the other which is suffering from poverty and alcoholism.

The cinematography by Daniel Gurevich is excellent: sadly he was to die before the film was released, together with talented Russian actor Sergei Bodrov (Brother, Brother 2) who had also seen rough cuts of Boomer and had been supportive. The music is likewise effective, blending Russian folk themes with pop music. The cell phone ringtone ended up being such a hit that composer Sergei Shnurov ended up netting $1MM in royalties from it alone (comparable to the film's initial box office performance).

To me, this is how crime films should be done - more focus on the human condition, with action as an accompaniment, not the goal.
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A zeitgeist crime movie
SeanBatemanJr11 February 2014
The first and maybe best film from Buslov caught a zeitgeist, became a mega-hit and birthed one of the most popular ringtones in Russia.

This is a classic fatalistic gangster movie about small-time Russian criminals from the nineties who accidentally kill an undercover cop and go into hiding on a stolen black BMW.

This film caught the dusk of the nineties, of the gangster anarchy.

The film's protagonists live by the rules of the nineties, but the rules, the world around them begin to change (part of the change is police and intelligence becoming the dominant "gangs"). The heroes are dinosaurs of the era that is ending but they are not conscious of it.

The whole film can be viewed as a story of new world and new rules marginalizing and destroying the protagonists.

The first half of the film is stronger then the second in my opinion, but all in all this film was made exceptional by unusually natural performances and authentic dialogue compared to other Russian crime movies.
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an empty movie with neither a good plot, nor action
mindoza3316 December 2011
(Review from 2003 reposted to lost login details)

don't even bother, it's a waste of time. an empty movie with neither a good plot, nor action. haven't heard much good music either. a few minutes with fancy cars, but no impressive driving. a film about four Russian 'mafia' guys without beginning and the end, and it is impossible to write comments on literally nothing.

2/10 for some nice shots of winter. not worth watching. If you want to indulge into Russian cinematography better spend some time watching series like "Master and Margarita", "Liquidation", "Zhurov", "Kameskaya" or plethora of perfect movies.
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One of the best films I've seen.
user-585-89270419 November 2009
First of all, I hate Brigada, in my opinion it's cheap and very false, it rather glorifies Russian gangs than does something else. Despite many somehow say Brigada and this film are similar, they are not. I love Bumer, and I hate Brigada or Brat.

Bumer is apolitical, very sincere and honest movie about people. It doesn't try to dully moralize or glorify or rise patriotism, and instead honestly shows flaws hinting there is something very wrong with society (which is a VERY rare thing in modern Russian movie-land). The film does teach, it shows inevitability of bad effects of bad actions but with style and subtlety. Actors play is another area where this movie shines, it just couldn't be better. Bumer is masterfully shot, the camera work is fantastic, beautiful panoramas and scenes, it looks stylish and not arty-crafty at the same time.

The work of art.
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Very good and realistic - thumbs up!
summit300023 July 2007
Among the host of modern time Russian-made "gangster" movies (think Brat/Brother, Brigada, Antikiller, Zhmurki, etc.) this is by far the most realistic one.

Brigada was very much a fiction movie, and so were both parts of Brother. Antikiller was middle of the road, and Zhmurki was just a parody on them all.

One of the previous reviewers wrote that Bumer shows the life in today's Russia. This is not true. Bumer shows life as it was in the early to mid- 1990's (and that was, in fact, the film makers' stated intent).

The "bratki" (gangsters), the "razborki" (inter-gang negotiations), the language, the extortions, the crooked cops, the truck drivers, the roads, the godforsaken village, the robbery - all are very realistic.

The only downside of the film, to my taste, was a bit too many moralizing scenes. But I still rate it as 10 out of 10.
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IT's one of the best Russian movies i have ever seen
julius m.13 April 2006
I have seen this movie few years ago and i'm still impressed with it.It has everything:action,drama,reality and etc.The main idea of the film isn't outstanding."Bumer" is about wars between Russian gangsters.But the idea is not the wars.It's the ability to remain alive in such cruel reality.Such things like friendship,respect remain in the "gang".I could say that this movie is better than a lot of "hollywood made films " in this category. In conclusion i suggest to watch this movie.It's very revealing.As i know there is the second part of "Bumer" released.Some say it's better than the first one.I think that the sequel can't be better than the original.
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Not a bad film, but typical Russian film
kalltar25 March 2006
This film is quite good and more similar to European action movies amongst other Russian movies. But it still has all these elements I dislike in Russian movies: always they are drinking vodka; a lot of swearing and screaming; women are not treated like human beings, but more like just sex objects. But story is quite good, it isn't predictable as Hollywood movies are, there were no heroes, no presidents shaking hands and no other Hollywood patriotic stuff and happy endings. It all makes this film kinda special and enjoyable. It's a bit silly that this 7. series BMW has such a vital part( we can see that car in a movie almost as much as KITT in Knight Rider series) in movie scenes, but maybe that's so that BMW has such a reputation in Russia that it's a mobsters car. But after all, quite good movie.
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Greatest movie from post-soviet Russia
kostoprav15 March 2006
Debut movie from Piotr Buslov, yesterday's student and now acclaimed as "Russian Tarantino". The film is mystic criminal drama but also totally awesome portrait of modern Russia. Heroes is four men, a bunch of outlaws, try to escape from Moscow to a little out-of-the-way place. They kill one rude boy from another gang (actually he is an under cover cop) and want to hide from manhunt. They car, BMW 750 that they stole from foreign businessman have a bad karma and problems get started. This is the story of retribution and men's friendship with outstanding actor's plaing, great casting and original gangsters slang. Many Russian people does not understand some phrases of heroes at all. The director's cameo in the middle of the film is true genius: he is very decisive as racketeer's boss in scene on a gas station. Forget all another post-soviet Russian gangster-flicks, this is the one that you waiting for. As a parallel just imagine "Reservoir Dogs" meets "Easy Rider".
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Thoughts......on the film
mafiosnik_vadim27 February 2006
great movie if you want to get Bumer go to Google/Google Video Search for Bumer it should be on there... if anything feel free to contact me at mafiosnik86@gmail.com very simple at the same time very sophisticated :) i saw it for the first time a few years back when it first came out i myself am Russian i hope to see a lot of Americans watch this film i think they would really like it a lot of my friends have seen it and I'm planning to definitely see Bymer 2 which is already out on DVD so check it out! i don't know whats wrong with this site...but the whole Minimum of ten Lines gotta go minimum should be 5 lines
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A Russian take on the 'Reservoir Dogs' Genre
Ralf124 September 2005
The Bummer (also known as Bimmer), is an early 2000s Russian take on the venerable "Reservoir Dogs" movie genre of the early 90s. However, the Bummer is very distinct and very original. I'd say that there is a lot more soul in this movie than in Tarantino's gangster flick. In fact, this movie probably had matched, if not surpassed, the Dogs in several respects and it had probably set a new benchmark for those who are aware of the existence of the modern Russian cinema. Both movies depicted stylized violence simply for the sake of violence. However, in the Russian case, it's not all made up. It's their everyday life. The acting of the Bummer gang was terrific. This movie depicts very realistically Russia's Putin-era criminal nihilism, which is less glorious than in the Yeltsin era but still very interesting for an outside eye, the corrupt cops, and the decaying provincial infrastructure. Unfortunately, I doubt that the English language subtitles can do justice to the slang terms used in this movie (I watched the Russian language version without subtitles).
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A Nutshell Review: Bimmer
DICK STEEL12 July 2005
Bimmer's the Russian term for the BMW, and with such a title, the vehicle has to be a plot device in the movie.

The film begins with the stealing of a BMW 7-series by a gang of four petty thieves. Given that it's such a wonderful car, they decide to keep it for themselves instead of selling it off. But before the film reaches cruising speed, a confrontation with another gang goes wrong, and our quartet is on the run from both the cops and from the mob.

So they're off on a road trip in their ill gotten BMW, and scene after scene, we're treated to set pieces, like encounters with a gang of truckers, corrupt cops and a doctor in a small town. Some of these scenes are hilarious, watching our quartet outsmarting and wriggling their way out of situations, while others are sometimes plain boring. So it's rather uneven.

Despite the title being a car model, there is absolutely no car chases in this film, which is a pity, otherwise we could have seen the 7-series being put to good use. However, what's refreshing is the scenery. I haven't seen much of Moscow or Russia, and this film offered an opportunity to do so.

It also attempts to explore the relationships between the friends, to see if there is indeed honour amongst thieves at a time when it really would have counted. The ending is kinda unexpected, but all the more makes you wonder about the this theme.

With an excellent soundtrack each time the Bimmer is driven, you'll forgive this show for some of its shortfalls.
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very interesting movie
jelubarsky8 April 2005
In many comments this film is compared to 'Brigada' - a Russian gang-type TV series, but to me it's rather a Russian version of Tarantino's 'Reservoir Dogs'... The similarities are striking, the number of main characters(all criminals), the plot, the slang, continuous throughout the movie reminiscences by main characters to the beginning of the story, the ending(almost cloned)... Certainly 'Bumer' is a Russian movie with emphasis on many peculiarities of nowadays Russia's life and I honor it as a masterpiece of it's own, and I really enjoyed it, but inadvertently comparing to the Tarantino's movie(which is a great film by all means) it's hard to ignore many weaknesses of 'Bumer', most of all - the actors' work.
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Blame it all on the Germans
Igor Shvetsov11 October 2004
Bumer is frequently hailed as perhaps one of the best Russian movies in decades. This might be a capsule evaluation of dubious tendencies in the entire Russian cinema. Once this is the best ever, then which could have been the worst?

Four young culprits of distinctively felonious appearance expropriate a luxury BMW car (of the title that stands for the slangy reference to this Bavarian vehicle, Russian version of Bimmer) and flee to nowhere with no particular aim in view.

Sometimes it looks like Russia splits into two different never overlapping worlds. A regular person, not necessarily representing upper strata of society, from one ("normal") world may, luckily, never stumble across the harsh realities constantly experienced by the persons from the other ("warped") world.

And somehow cinema (most of the contemporary Russian movies in particular) may reflect such explicit division.

It might be either a glossy showcase of heroic typecast of characters or, otherwise a depiction of stereotypic brutal crooks (or minor variations) stewing in their own juice. The golden mean is regretfully rarely seen in our cinema nowadays.

Some may say Bumer is unbelievably sincere and truthful, to the bones, in portrayal of horrors of our everyday life (or the wrong side of life).

Violent robberies and rampant extortion elsewhere on the roads, corrupt law enforcement system, brutal shootouts and bloodshed between the gangs, lost generation - is this all real and does this exist? Undeniably - yes.

Oh, did I forget terrible motorways impassable to that overpraised miracle of German engineering?

But if the sole target of the producers of the film is the desire to persuade us that such horrible world with not a single positive hero in the vicinity really exists and, moreover, THIS IS OUR REALITY - well this isn't something that needs any more proofs. We've seen this all before and we are all well aware that life is full of crap.

The direction is unexceptional and uneven at times. So is the yarn - an overlong and a kind of leisurely road trip with incidental clashes of our intrepid quartet against their colleagues in the other side of the law, or with angry truck drivers, or with militia. It has an overdose of flashbacks and ridiculous sprinkles of casual romantic liaisons.

The dialog is mostly unconvincing and preposterous blend of rather tame foul language and pseudo-criminal folklore.

Acting of the leads is decent at best, but I wonder who might be caring about the motives of the four half-witted laddies desperately floundering atop of the big bunch of muck they have devised for their own amusement: - just to keep themselves absorbed in shoveling their way through this mess to find the fate they actually deserve.

And if anyone may, however, feel attracted to the trivial speculations on the issues of loyalty and betrayal (among that specific layer of the society) allegedly offered by the film - my humble opinion might easily be disregarded.
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A gritty Russian gangster film in the vein of "Brother"
dario-1411 April 2004
This film is part of the new generation of Eastern European gangster films. In the vein of "Pusher", and "Brother", the director leads you through the gritty and chaotic world of the Russian mafia. The characters are original and memorable, and the cast does an excellent job.

The story revolves around four close-knit gang members and their stolen Beemer (the title of the film is the Russian-language equivalent of the word "Beemer", or BMW). The four have to leave Moscow for a while and lay low, and so ride the beemer out of town. These black-leather wearing slick New Russian boys contrast heavily with the provincial Russians whom they encounter along the way. The polarization of Russian society is clearly visible, and the film I think makes this one of its central themes.

Overall, I rate this film highly.
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Has a good message
dgrib200213 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is inevitably compared to "The Brigade", a major hit TV show about gangsters in Russia. I personally don't think it's quite fair, because "Bumer" is so much more intelligent. I don't even feel like the movie is about mafia, but about life in general. Its message: Whatever you do, will come back haunting you.

The main characters are shot by the cops in a tiny town and there's hardly a single person in the world (except for the one friend), who will remember them. I don't think one of the guys' wife will really have many good things to say about him. But its not only gangsters that are the bad people and are being punished. The truck driver is left paralyzed for the rest of his life. The kid who turns to crime is murdered, something happens to the corrupt cops as well (I can't exactly remember what)... On the other hand, the girl in the village and the guy who loves her end up together, raising the kid. That's because they are "honest people".

This what the movie is all about I think and the reason the makers show what happens to the different characters later on. Thus, "Bumer" is an honest movie with a good message (while not a very deep one). It basically tells you: If you do "bad things", you'll get punished. "The Brigade" of course doesn't carry any message and is romanticizing gangsters, which is IMO kind of silly and inappropriate in modern day Russia.
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Great movie from Russian cinematography!
teeno_critico24 January 2004
Very great movie which in my opinion showed really good Russian life of Russian bandits/mafia and the life outside Moscow and ST.Peterspurg. {i am azerbaijani lived in russia for 11 years btw}. Its one of the few movies which are been made in this days, where u actually start understand every character and their friendship and how their relationship are important to each other. For example: how everyone became supportive towards injured Dimon and how same Dimon felt sorry when everyone was killed. Kostya aka "Kot" was a leader and it was obvious towards us without even making it clear to us because it was real obvious how in one way everyone was reliable towards him. The only question which probably left after movie is what were bandits were doing really, in other words what kind of bandits their were. But on other way it wasnt really important what their were doing as lifetime in movie as it was really necessary in storyline. Overall Rank: 8/10
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Black Catafalque
linux_6664 January 2004
Four friends get in huge trouble with the law and have to leave the city. Endless roads of hostile Russia in late autumn and luxurous reliable black BMW, that became home to the friends for so many days, will keep everyone safe from all dangers, through rain and snow.

Three rules for traveling in Russia: 1) Never travel in expensive cars 2) Never travel without a gun 3) NEVER STOP

Plot is shallow and without any serious twists but the soundtrack and actors make up for everything. Vdovichenkov (Kostyan "Kot") is amazing.

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not worth watching
mindoza23 December 2003
an empty movie with neither a good plot, nor action. haven't heard much good music either. a few minutes with fancy cars, but no impressive driving. a film about four russian 'mafia' guys without beginning and ending and it is impossible to write comments on literally nothing.

2/10 for some nice shots of winter. not worth watching
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Morfeus Ivanovich21 December 2003
This is a brilliant Russian movie. Great and very realistic plot (lots of cursing, deaths), awesome music (both Ruissan hip-hop and Mahler), good actors(including the star from "Brigada". But the best thing is that this movie realistically displays modern Russia - crooked cops, gangs on every corner, a step to anarchy...
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