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March 2011

Paradox Soldiers

cast: Dimitri Stypka, Semyon Balotserkovskiy, Igor Petrenko, Aleksi Barabash, and Ekaterina Klymova

directors: Oleg Pogodin and Dimitri Voronkov

102 minutes (15) 2010
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Metrodome DVD Region 2

RATING: 3/10
review by Tony Hill

Paradox Soldiers

This movie, Paradox Soldiers (aka: My iz budushchego 2), is a sequel to, pretty obviously, My iz budushchego (2008) - translated as 'we are the future'. I haven't seen the original but, based on the sequel, I am not proposing to rush out and find it. No matter how this film is presented, it is an action war movie - not really my cup of tea, but each to his own, I suppose. The story 'wrapper' is time-travel, so, in my book (anti-fantasy) it scores another black mark. However, our hero Sergei (Dimitri Stypka) is a university lecturer in St Petersburg on World War II history and, in particular, events involving the Ukraine. Together with his sidekick Oleg (Semyon Belotserkovskiy) they have been investigating the site of the 'Battle of Brody' in the Ukraine.

The Ukraine was (and still is) a divided country, split between supporters of the Soviet regime and local Ukranian partisans. In 1944, things were even more complicated as the Nazis invaded Ukraine. So there was a rather tricky triangle of parties. The Germans had conscripted local Ukranians into their 13th army Galadin regiment and it was this force that invaded the Ukraine. In July 1944, the invaders had been completely encircled by the Soviet forces but, on 21st of July, the Germans broke through the circle and a huge battle took place.

So much for the historical background... However, it was this (to me) unknown episode in the complex history of the Ukraine, that set me off reading-up about it. The only redeeming feature of the movie! Anyway, how is this relevant to our heroes in St Petersburg? Well, they had arranged a re-enactment of the 'Battle of Brody' taking a party of fellow-students to Brody to do their war-gaming with some locals, incorporating our other villain-come-heroes, Taras (Aleksi Barabash), and Borman (Igor Petrenko) - 'villains' because they disliked their Russian counterparts (Sergei and Oleg) and 'heroes' because of what was to follow.

The assembled 'cast' are allocated their roles and the re-enactment starts. Clearly, the Russian students and Ukranian local don't get-on, and are soon battling with each other in the ruins of an old manor house. Sergei discovers an unexploded bomb and continuing their feud, Taras tosses a powerful firework into the ruins. Result, yes, you've guessed it - big explosion and our foursome are transported back to July 1944.

So, now the 'war movie' can start, and it does. Our heroes soon get mixed-up in the action and wonder if they will be able to return to the present. Something I cannot get to grips with in this time-travel nonsense is the logic of it - of course they get back to the future because we have just seen them there. What's the mystery?

Muddled-up in all this was Sergei's knowledge of a Ukranian girl, Nina (Ekaterina Klymova) who had somehow been involved in the 'Battle of Brody'. Suffice it to say that after the movie had finished, I had to play the beginning section three times to understand exactly how she fitted-in relation-wise.

An all-action war-movie continues, which is pretty boring and uninteresting to me. Is Nina there, what about her, and do they all get back? Watch it and find-out and then be put-off finally by the syrupy ending. Perhaps some will like it but, on many grounds, it is not for me - apart from finding out about the Ukraine.



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