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There are good movies, and there are bad movies, and then there's Moscow Zero, a film so utterly bad it makes spending a month in solitary with an insurance salesman an attractive entertainment alternative.
With an incomprehensible plot about the gates of Hell opening within a labyrinth of tunnels under Moscow, the film is a mess of repetitive and nonsensical shots of a little girl running through tunnels, red lights floating about, and strange wall shadows, none of which serves to mount any fear or tension, but instead elicits the reaction of "here they go again with the girl (or lights)" from the viewer.
Directed by María Lidón, who for reasons I can only conclude as shame, was billed as Luna, the movie stars Vince Gallo as Owen, an American priest who travels to Moscow in search of Sergei (Rade Serbedzija), a friend and colleague who has gone missing in the tunnels. He enlists the help of a series of locals who, with the exception of Oksana Akinshina, are all portrayed by Spanish actors trying with limited success to inflect Russian accents.
Along the way they cross paths with members of some sort of underground leather-coated religious mafia headed by a portly Val Kilmer, whose career seems to be in such free fall that he's resorted to appearing in dreck like this, and henchman Sage Stallone (Sly's son), who seems to have been cast merely so the Stallone name can be included in the film's marquee.
Apart from watching the troupe try to navigate their way through the tunnels with the aid of a comically drawn map, and repetitive shots of them being followed or eluded by a pale faced young girl, not much else goes on throughout. Dialogue routinely switches between English and Russian, with actors frequently taking turns in each language, and entire conversations are uttered half in one and half in the other with the only apparent reason being they felt like it, adding a frustrating dimension for the viewer, over and above trying to figure out the crazily cobbled together story.
About the only thing Moscow Zero gets right, however, is its title, which could only have rendered a more accurate description of this movie if the word Moscow had been omitted.
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