It is August 1941. With the battle line far away in the east, three soldiers who have managed to escape from captivity find it difficult to hide: the territory is occupied by the enemy. The... See full summary »
It is the word "horde" that had meant, for many countries and nations, bloody raids and being under humilating contribution for centuries - a strange and scary world with its own rules and ... See full summary »
The Year is 1812. On the eve of the decisive battle of Borodino, Napoleon's secret agent steals a Russian battle plan. This fact is known to General Kutuzov (Head of Russian forces), thanks... See full summary »
Young prince Aleksandr has to hold out against two enemies - the Horde in the east and the Teutonic order and Sweden in the west. He discovers that some boyars are plotting against him and ... See full summary »
A "Hitlerjugend" kind of story, set in the Soviet Union during the Second World War, based on a fictitious story from the eponymous book by Vladimir Kunin. The Red Army has a gang of ... See full summary »
Seriously weak attempt to produce another Russian patriotic epic out of one of the most prominent pieces of Ukrainian literature
I'd like to start off with what is good in this movie, for the list will be infinitely shorter than what is bad.
Good points: 1. Bogdan Stupka ('Taras Bulba') performance. His presence in the movie is the only excuse to see the movie in the first place.
2. Attention to detail in costumes and observing cossack traditions. The movie can be a good reference for re-enactors of Zaporizka Sich and Rzech Pospolita of XVI century.
Bad points: 1. Patriotic speeches comprise over 50% of the total movie time. Every single cossack having at least one line in the movie, had to proclaim a speech about the never-ending glory of orthodox faith and Russian land before dying. I mean, it is OK once. It can be touching. However, in Taras Bulba there are 5 or 6 nearly identical speeches within 5 minutes span. Around the third speech/death sequence it gets really boring and you think 'will you please just shut up and die?' The word 'Russian' appears in every other sentence of the movie. I mean, I know those are Russians who make the movie with the aid from the government. I bet, anyone from outside USSR will return from the theater with the firm belief those were Russians fighting Poles. But hey, the entire thing actually happens in Ukraine! Yet, reference to Ukraine is carefully avoided and quickly mentioned only twice in the entire movie.
2. Battle scenes. The movie attempts at Braveheart realism with close-ups of wounds. Which would have been OK, if they haven't shown close-ups for nearly EACH SINGLE CUT AND PIERCE in the movie. Coupled with unimpressive execution of one-on-one duels and poorly organized mass scenes (you get the full screen of cossacks and Poles walking (not running!) chaotically without any apparent purpose or sense of direction, it creates seriously sad impression.
3. Performance of the younger cast. Vdovichenkov is no longer a criminal from 'the Bumer' (the BMW) but his line 'Ty chto skazal?!' (What have you just said?) was performed in the XVI century church in the same manner as previously at the criminals' meeting in 1990s. Younger son, Andriy (Petrenko) is not nearly as passionate as his father, Taras, (Bogdan Stupka). Yeah, I betray my motherland and my father, because I love you. No big deal.
4. Soundtrack is as awful as in Bortko's Master and Margarita.
63 of 107 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?