Flight Crew (The 2016 Russian Resurrection Film Festival)
Danila Kozlovsky, Vladimir Mashkov, Agne Grudyte, Katerina Shpitsa, Sergey Kempo
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…a surprisingly fun action blockbuster.
With Hollywood criticised for its saturation of remakes and reboots, the Russian film industry itself little different with Flight Crew, a contemporary remake of the 1979 Russian film, Air Crew. In this case, however, that is far from a negative, as director Nikolai Lebedev brings his penchant for Hollywood blockbusters to the disaster pic, utilising a 3D IMAX camera and top-notch special effects to elevate his film.
When young hotshot pilot, Alexey Gushchin, is discharged from military service for disobeying questionable orders, he applies to Russia’s passenger airplane programme, a decision that brings him into direct conflict with the stern and experienced crew commander, Leonid Zinchenko. On route to Asia, the clashing pair receive word of a volcanic eruption at a nearby island, and are tasked with evacuating survivors, only to find upon landing that the natural disaster is far worse than first anticipated. With the island literally falling apart around them, the two pilots must work together to attempt the impossible, and ultimately save the lives of the 200 passengers in their care.
An entirely Russian production and only the second disaster film produced by the local industry, Flight Crew stands tall amongst the genre-specific Hollywood blockbusters circling the market today. While not the most cerebral movie, featuring questionable physics and a fairly simplistic plot, the film takes its time to set up the characters and their relationships before the central disaster kicks off with spectacular results. Featuring truly tense action sequences and a seamless blend of practical and visual effects, the time spent with the flight crew pays off as they each step up when needed to get their passengers home safe, resulting in a surprisingly fun action blockbuster.