With a not-too-serious first half that relies on goofiness and some not-so-dynamic fight choreography, Russian Raid correct its course and gets really gritty and harsh in the second half with a sudden conviction to kill characters off and to forget about its lighthearted tone.
A Special Forces operative is hired to lead a group of mercenaries to infiltrate a missile factory, leading to an all-out free-for-all battle with the guys working there.
A kid named Nikita watches his father get killed by an evil mercenary, and years later the kid has grown up to be a crackerjack Special Forces operator with a great reputation. He’s long held out for revenge on his father’s murder, and he finally sees a chance when he’s offered a side gig to lead a group of ruffian mercenaries to raid a nuclear missile factory under the proviso that he makes sure the guy who hired him gets exactly what he wants. The group Nikita leads are a bunch of ragtag military rejects with penchants for the martial arts, and when they encounter all the workers and soldiers working there, it becomes a nonstop brawl between both sides, and once the fighting starts, there’s no telling what sorts of weapons will be used: axes, swords, pipes, guns, knives, cleavers, chairs, tables, and everything else that’s handy. The third act gets much more complicated (and amps up the violence) when it becomes clear that Nikita’s grudge against his father’s killer might finally see its day of justice, as the killer shows up to join the fight.
With a not-too-serious first half that relies on goofiness and some not-so-dynamic fight choreography, Russian Raid correct its course and gets really gritty and harsh in the second half with a sudden conviction to kill characters off and to forget about its lighthearted tone. Star Ivan Kotik, who plays Nikita, is a stuntman and does his own stuff here, but he doesn’t have the weight, screen presence, or gravitas that makes an action star great, but at least he tries (kind of). The movie has a lot of fighting in it, but as I said earlier, the choreography isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, but I did like the stuff involving all the huge, bulky Russian bad guys who won’t go down with a few kicks and punches. Directed by Denis Kryuchkov.
Well Go USA’s recent Blu-ray release of Russian Raid is available to purchase now. It’s also available on DVD.