HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  9th Company Afghan Angst
Year: 2005
Director: Fyodor Bondarchuk
Stars: Fyodor Bondarchuk, Aleksei Chadov, Mikhail Yevlanov, Ivan Kokorin, Artyom Mikhalkov, Konstantin Kruyakov, Artur Smolyaninov, Mikhail Porechenkov, Irina Rachmanova, Aleksei Serebryakov, Mikhail Yefremov, Aleksei Kravchenko, Andrei Krasko
Genre: WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Vorobey (Aleksei Chadov) tearfully bids goodbye to his girlfriend in the pouring rain, because today he has been drafted into the Soviet army and will be shipped out to Afghanistan after weeks of training. One other recruit seems determined to start a fight, goading him with conversation about how his girlfriend won't waste any time in getting to know other men, but Vorobey won't be provoked. Once they enter the camp, the first thing to happen is that their heads are shaved, and one soon-to-be soldier takes offence at the attitude of the army barbers: after his hair is shorn, he attacks the man who did it and shaves off a clump to see how he likes it. These cocky recruits would have been severely reprimanded had they not been going out to the Afghan war, but as they are, they're going to suffer enough...

There were a rash of Vietnam War films out of Hollywood in the late seventies and eighties as the United States of America grappled with that years long conflict, and actor-producer-director Fyodor Bondarchuk's 9th Company (originally called 9 Rota) appeared to be very much in the spirit of that struggle. Was Afghanistan the Soviet Union's Vietnam? That's what this film believes, and all the conventions of the Hollywood counterparts are present and correct here, including a first-half training drama straight out of Full Metal Jacket. Taking this approach certainly struck a chord with Russia as the production went on to become that country's biggest financial success since the fall of Communism.

We are introduced to our main characters in an ensemble cast of young actors who each make their mark while still making their camaraderie and function as a steadily formed unit convincing. They miss female companionship and look forward to the day that the camp's resident available young woman, a daughter of one of the officers, makes men of them but until then there's a lot of shooting on ranges, being shouted at by their warrant officer in time honoured R. Lee Ermey manner, and scrambling up a steep hill wearing packs filled with rocks, a metaphor for their struggle to succeed as a useful whole. Nevertherless, their personalities are clearly defined, with artist Gioconda (Konstantin Kryukov) standing out as the thinker amongst them.

After about an hour of training montages and manly company and morale-boosting exercises, our troops are sent over the border to Afghanistan, naturally finding that all the training in the world won't prepare them for the nightmare situation they have to endure. They get a hint that this is no holiday when the plane that escorted them to their new base is shot at by missiles and crashes at the airport, killing all on board. There is a try at letting us know what the locals felt about this invasion, but too often they're the faceless enemy. However, the film's best scene is not an action sequence, but the lecture by the commanding officer who tells the recruits what kind of culture they should expect and reminds them that nobody has ever conquered Afghanistan. 9th Company is very well made, but cannot escape the clich├ęs of the war film - maybe nobody can by this point, and it's only the film's setting that makes it stand out from the crowd. That said, it is absorbing and will definitely satisfy war movie addicts. Music by Dato Evgenidze.

[Contender's two disc Region 2 DVD has documentaries and trailers as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7877 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: