Alexander Petrov, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Vladimir Mashkov
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Told with the brazen confidence of a ‘90s action flick, Hero offers a good-time…
Russian spy film Hero follows the exploits of Andrey (Alexander Petrov) and Masha (Svetlana Khodchenkova); two Russian ex-pats trained as spies (known as ‘Youth’) during their teenage years. Now, fifteen years later, the resurgence of a mysterious figure from their past throws the two into a world of espionage, deceit and passionate romance inside of a hot air balloon.
Hero is not bound by the same pressures of Western films to up the action ante. Cars don’t fall from the sky, giant creatures don’t run amok, and neither Ryan Reynolds nor Kevin Hart make a cameo. Hero is rightfully unhinged from the conventions of American storytelling. This freedom allows Hero to have a grounded approach to action with the exception of an utterly bonkers, yet unique, finale that not even the writers of the Mission: Impossible series could imagine.
A build-up of dialogue causes Hero to slow down in the later parts of the film. What begins as a sprint, overloaded with fast-moving action and a James Bond-inspired score to match, descends into a middling jog around the halfway mark. Hero becomes unnecessarily complicated as a result of this dialogue, with director Karen Oganesyan deploying far too many bizarre double-crosses for a film so unserious.
Told with the brazen confidence of a ‘90s action flick, Hero offers a good-time to all willing to overlook its low-budget production values.