I would like to wholeheartedly thank Mikkel Erichsen for the following accurate and hilarious review of the Russian Chernobyl Movie:
So, I spent yesterday night finally watching the much anticipated Russian made feature film “Chernobyl: Abyss”, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10648714/, and decided to jot down some thoughts to share:
3/10 (meaning almost unwatchable on my scale): it looks like a movie, and some shots are pretty well done, and some moments in the (long!) diving scenes are really well done (if you switch off your brain and forget better renditions exist) even though it is obvious to the keen eye that it was not even remotely shot on location, and the factual inconsistencies are too many to count. The “human element” underlying story, “needed” to establish some characters to root for is some of the worst I have seen in a long time, even though it is easy to understand the motivations of our protagonist………(!) I won’t comment on the acting, as i am not proficient in russian to know if the actors put in an effort or was just phoning it in.
SPOILERS/SARCASM/BAD HUMOUR ALERT
The first LONG 32ish minutes is the origin/love story of our heroic protagonist (old) Alex, a firefighter from Kyiv, being unwillingly stationed in Pripyat, where he to his surprise finds some chick (Olga) he banged casually ~10 years ago and left, so his obvious choice is to try to get in her pants again. He almost succeeds, probably by taking Olga on an exclusive ride on a HUGE white ferris wheel, but also finds out he has a 10 year old son, (young) Alex, a big fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan & Sylvester Stallone, probably pretty normal role models in soviet times for a boy his age. He reluctantly decides the way back into Olgas bed is to befriend his son, without telling him he is his father. This almost succeeds, by bribing the boy with a fancy video camera. However twice failing he decides to leave (again!) (or is transfered back to Kyiv again for some reason).
On the night of the accident young Alex and his friends for some unknown reason decide to sneak out at night to shoot video of the nuclear power plant….. Meanwhile old Alex, for some reason, probably to make one last attempt at getting laid(?), heads back to Pripyat, but birds falling out of the sky causes him to crash his car, and he flags down some random firefighters and tells them he is the man and offers to help putting out the fire at the plant. Once he gets there, he spends the most of his time being horrified that his former colleagues have all been toasted by the radiation in no time, also does some generic hero stuff to find and save some guys who for some reason went into the building/reactor/whatever…. Being slightly crispy at this point he is taken to the hospital, where he fully recovers in a day or so, and is then apparently, and have always been, an expert in the layout of the powerplant, so he offers/is forced to come up with a plan to drain the water, primarily for the reason that the army bosses want their families to have a safe May Day celebration in Kyiv on the 1st of may. However he refuses to go on the diving mission himself, and instead cheats his way onto the evacuation busses with Olga and young Alex (presumably to make a FINAL attempt at getting laid). Young Alex, having filmed the explosion, is now sick with radiation poisoning, so old Alex “pulls some strings”, to give up his seat on a flight to Switzerland, which the military/soviet bosses promised all liquidators they could go on “because they have a great radiological clinic there that will cure you in no time” (or something like that….)
Being a true russian hero (or because Olga STILL hasn’t put out, thinking THIS will do it!), old Alex has a change of heart, and decides to get off the evacuation bus and walk back to Pripyat, where he immediately one-ups the plan for draining the water with a better “route” and goes on the mission himself, cause why the heck not? Unfortunately the plan to restore electrical power to a flooded basement(!) doesn’t quite go to plan (shockingly), and our 2nd true hero of the story, Boris the army guy, instead finds a clear path to the reactor core and decides to go have a look (because there was light there?). This does not go well, even though Alex does manage to get Boris to close a door, for whatever good that will do, and once more poor old Alex is feeling rather crispy and sent to the hospital, this time in Kyiv (for some reason!). Here, he delivers on his promise, and gets young Alex shipped off to the famous radiological treatment center in Switzerland, which ALMOST fulfils his primary mission, as Olga seems pleased, and ALMOST gives in, but decides to sleep on it. They watch the may day parade on tv (so apparently only 4 days have passed). Being a man of action, old Alex decides that hey, what if I REALLY save the world this time? So he leaves a note saying he is going BACK to Pripyat (AGAIN!), because apparently you could just go back and forth as you damn well pleased in those days. And this time he does the diving stuff for real, opens the valves, and all is well…. Except that he and his colleague drown in the process…. Or so we are led to believe in an epic plot twist, as his now severely crispy, but still alive body is recovered after the water has drained fully.
In the end, young Alex was fully cured in Switzerland, and Olga makes a visit to Old Alex in the hospital, and it is insinuated that his story had a “happy ending” (if you know what i mean 😉)
Please don’t take this post (or the movie) seriously, i started taking some notes early on in the movie, but decided pretty quickly just to have a bit of fun and try to get people to avoid watching this crap. I hope no one unfamiliar with the events will never watch this as their first introduction to the subject, as it will most definitely leave them utterly confused as the subjects of cause, real solution and actual chain of events is completely glossed over or skipped entirely. It was “fun” to watch in a weird way, but i am also slightly offended by it, because in the end, this just seems like a cheap way to try to make some money off the tragedy. (And i am very disappointed it didn’t go fully overboard with a “CIA/the americans did it” conspiracy, as was rumoured for a long time, that could have lifted it to the “so bad it is good” category 😉 )
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