Moscow in the distant future; Mafia game is a world-wide phenomenon and the most popular television show ever. Every year, eleven fearless volunteers, from all walks of life, gather together to find out who are the innocent civilians, and who are the ruthless Mafia. A game, that the outcome of which determines who will live, and who will die. Those who die are hunted by their worst fears, in elaborate and horrifying ways, while the whole world watches in rapacious awe. There are only two ways out, to win and become wildly rich and famous, or to lose and vanish forever into the abyss of your nightmares.
Directed by: Sarik Andreasyan
. Starring: Vadim Tsallati
, Violetta Getmanskaya
, Venyamin Smekhov
, Viktor Verzhbitskiy
, Olga Tumaykina
, Aleksey Grishin
, Natalya Rudova
, Vyacheslav Razbegaev
, Andrey Chadov
, Yuriy Chursin
, Evgeniy Koryakovskiy
, Artyom Suchkov
, Karen Badalov
I have a soft spot for some Russian sci-fi movies made in the last 5 years or so. I have not figured it out yet but I think it is the bold, brash English voice dubbing; the strong, in-your-face CGI that varies from good to bad; actors who've not seen before so don't what to expect and attempts to have storylines that while typical, also have something different about them., Also Russian actors seem to have a very stoic persona. It is not just the dubbing but there never seems to be much facial expression. I would be curious if it was a cultural thing. I think it makes people think the acting is poor, and some of it is, but it seems to be very common.
This movie fits that mold very well. All of the things above hold true.
The plot moved along very quickly for the most part. I was never bored. I was curious about each outcome. There certainly didn't seem to be any logic to the game. While people could vote on who they thought were Mafia, there didn't seem to be anything that would allow them to predict that so they chose personal qualities which had nothing to do with being Mafia.
Also the methods of death really don't make much sense. The soldier dies with dignity that he felt he didn't deserve. The convict, who didn't want to die as an underdog, successfully fights off his opponents but falls and hits his head and dies. He wouldn't know that. His last thoughts were how tough he was. The other convict didn't want to die in prison and while he did - for me the implication was living your life in prison, not just a short period and then be executed and even that wasn't as bad as he had some reconciliation before he died.
The first two acts of the movie move along well. The third act starts well too and there are some quirks but the last 10 minutes fall flat. The ending doesn't make sense. The "couple" are told they are going back into the game even though they've already announced there are only the other two left. Yet we next see them out in the real world. We don't see any big finale for the reveal of which of the last two is Mafia or not. This is a TV show and we want that big reveal and the audience is out there waiting for it. But we see the winner walk into his apartment and tell his wife who has been glued to the TV for the whole game. The loser, is supposed to die, but he doesn't either. It's like the ending was just cobbled together at the last minute. It might be bad editing as there are two scenes in the trailer that are not in the movie so maybe some of the missing parts would have explained some of this.
Having said that I still enjoyed it and it past the important test in that I never fast forwarded through it.
Review by moorek from the Internet Movie Database.