A space traveler from the Earth of 22th century - without wars, poverty and oppression - crashes on the unknown planet. Politically and economically this planet similar to the totalitarian human states of 20th century.
Russia, early 90s. A fictional story inspired by financier Sergey Mavrodi, his securities company "MMM", and the pyramid scheme he ran that left upwards of fifteen million investors with nothing when it crashed.
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When Zef arrests Maxim, he orders young man to drop his belt, and he does. In next scene, we see Maxim still wearing his belt. See more »
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This is the first part of the two-film saga spanning over three and a half hours for both films (the second being Dark Planet: Rebellion). You have to watch both films back to back as they are one continuous story; the first one stopping in the middle of the narration.
Let's start with what's good. First, it had an impressive budget with massive sets and computer graphics which were pretty good. The story is really interesting based on Strugatsky's sci-fi novel. That's where the good ends in my view. I quite liked the sound in the film - rich full-blown sound effects. And I didn'tthink much of the music either way - it was good enough.
Now to the bad. The script of the film I thought was terrible and jerky, with some silly dialogues and so was most of the lead actors' play - as if this was a farce - totally unrealistic and unbelievable and at times plainly bad. The camera-work was average at best and so was the editing. Then there's this kung-fu which is very fairy-tailish, with crazy jumps and blows completely copying Matrix style.
I couldn't help thinking the director wasn't very original in creating the image but made it a weird mix of visual ideas taken from other films: cars looking like they are from Total Recall and Mad Max, lead actor looking like the tanned curly blond boy from The Blue Lagoon from the 80's, let alone his bad play. One of the characters - Fank, an aide to the prosecutor (by the way. played by the director in a very unfitting for him role) - is a near- copy of Gary Oldman's character Zorg in the Fifth Element driving something of a bat- mobile. Even though the movie is filled with modern GGI, it is a weird mix of things borrowed from western movies with very Russian style of actors' play, with lots of crazy overacting, yelling (there's lots of that here) and a typical Russian cinematography of the late 80s - early 90's.
Yet, the film is quite watchable and holds together the interest till the end, albeit mainly for the big money poured into it. It's certainly worth watching for the really great sci-fi story, especially if you're a sci-fi fan and like adventure and post-apocalyptic movies. All in all, It's like a great play badly acted and badly directed on a richly decorated theatre stage. Recommended.
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