Saturday, September 1, 2012

Movie Review - Black Lightning (Chernaya Molniya)

I'm pretty sure this is my first Russian film that I have ever seen.  The film is Black Lightning (Chernaya Molniya). IMDB - Post  At the bottom of this post is my First Ever Video Movie Review.

I will put out this warning though, THIS IS A SUBTITLED FILM.  It is all in Russian with English subtitles.  I actually prefer my foreign films this way, since most English dubbed versions are terrible.

I was actually quite surprised by this film, I was expecting cheese and instead I got wine.  The acting was quite exceptional, everyone was spot on with their rolls.  There is a clear bad guy and of course there is a good guy as well.

The film starts with off in the 60's with a man obsessed with mining a huge diamond vein running directly under Moscow.  His giant penis looking drill doesn't have enough power to penetrate the mound to get at the diamonds.  Of course this sounds entirely like a personal problem to me.  However this problem sets Kuptsov on the path that helps bring about the plot of the movie.  Kuptsov then sets off in search of the Nanocatalyst, an unlimited power source.

We flash forward 30 years to the story of Dima.  He is a teenager who is going to college and lives with his family.  They are very poor and live in a poor neighborhood.  Dima who is going to a pretty fancy college and is friends with Maks.  Maks is a rich kid who's parents give him everything he wants.  The two make a stark contrast as they hang out together.  This is when they meet the new girl Nastya, and pretty quickly they are both vying for her affections.

Dima then goes home to find out that his parents have purchased him a 1956 Volga for his birthday.  The car has a matte black paint job and looks a beat up.  It is definitely an old car at this point in its life.  Embarrassed by the car Dima doesn't want to be seen in it.  Although he doesn't want to disappoint his family who worked hard to buy it for him.  Dima drives it far enough his family can't see him and then he parks it and tries to hop on the bus to school.

Trying to get to class on time for a lecture, another man who is also trying to get on the bus and asks him for his help getting on.  When Dima helps the obviously inebriated man get on the bus the man turns to thank him and blocks his way onto the bus and it takes off without him.  Of course this makes him late for his class.

When Dima gets to class he tries to sneak into the lecture.  Although the lecturer who turns out to be Kuptsov, decides to embarrassing him in front of the class for being late.  Dima undiscouraged by the embarrassment ends up talking to Kuptsov after the lecture is over.  Kuptsov gives him some advice, he says to Dima "Never help anyone if you want to get ahead in life".  

At this point Kuptsov's men find the lab where the Nanocatalyst was created.  Finding the plans for this they realize the Nanocatalyst was built into a car, and they know it is in a Volga.  Kuptsov knowing this sends his men into the city to find the Volga.  They start stopping and questioning everyone in the city who is driving a Volga.

Later when Dima get home His father asks him to go for a ride in his new car.  His father tells Dima to stop the car when he sees a mugger take some lady's purse.  Dima warns his father that the mugger might be involved with a gang or the mob.  His father jumps out of the car and quickly stops the mugger and gets the lady's purse back.  His father tries to explain how hard work and kindness will make you happy in life.  Dima again tells his father how dangerous it was to intervene.  They argue and his father gets out of the car.

Kuptsov's men see his father get out of the car but they don't want to lose the Volga so they pass him by.  They continue to follow him and Dima realizes he is being followed.  He of course thinks that the mob is trying to kill him for his father's intervention with the mugging.  He then tries to lose them in a high speed chase through busy streets.

When Dima realizes that he is going to crash right into Kuptsov's men he slams on the brakes only to find that his car is now airborne.  Hurtling through the air Dima is simply trying not to splat on the pavement.  The car turns out to be very difficult for him to fly, only when he crashes it into a pile of tires does he get away.

Of course this is when the movie really gets interesting.  There is a love story going on in the background of all the chaos and testosterone.  Although I doubt the love story is enough to make your girlfriend want to watch this with you.  Unless of course she is as much of a geek as you are for watching this movie in the first place.

I won't ruin the ending but I will say it is pretty great how they bring the whole thing to a close.  I truly enjoyed this film, and would readily recommend this movie to anyone who likes Sci-Fi movies.  If you simply like foreign films or you like sneaky love stories you would like this film too.

I rate this film four and a half smiley Mike heads, for it's imagination and the way it kept the story interesting.

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