A wildly melodramatic, Russian-Mafia riff on THE GODFATHER (1972), this film offers flashy performances and bizarre plot twists, along with some variable Soviet accents. With his Los Angeles-based criminal empire declining, emigre Oleg (Vladimir Mashkov) is under intense pressure from his Moscow-based partners to repay a $50,000,000 loan. Oleg had intended to turn the family business over to his younger brother, Alex (Henry Thomas), but their neurotic mother, Anna (Lesley Ann Warren), doesn't think her baby boy suitable mob material. She believes Oleg is better equipped to maintain her lifestyle, which includes keeping a South American gigolo. Unable to rely on family members, the world-weary Oleg puts his trust in life-long friend Deema (Sergei Bodrov, Jr., who died the following year in an avalanche while scouting locations) and his retinue of bodyguards. Oleg sends two ruffians to Mother Russia, ordering them to make a preemptive strike against his partner. What the distracted fails to realize is that danger lurks closer to home. After a New Year's Eve blast, Oleg asks Deema to hire an exterminator, Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), to get rid of roaches. Though Oleg takes a personal interest in the bug-killer, Alex suspects that she's actually a hit woman. Tired of hangers-on and back-stabbers, Oleg confides in Lisa, a single mom with her own problems. Once Oleg learns that his assassins in Russia have been assassinated, he realizes that he has no idea who among his inner circle he can trust. He begs Lisa to sneak him out in her van and drive him to Mexico. Is Oleg a marked man or can he find sanctuary in the arms of a woman he's just met? Sexy Russian import Mashkov strikes enough sparks with Method-moll Leigh to redeem this improbable fable. In addition to relying on cliches like the gangster's last romantic hurrah, Bodrov Sr. and Carolyn Cavallero's screenplay gets entangled in too many subplots that aren't integrated seamlessly into the main story.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 2001
- Rating: R
- Review: A wildly melodramatic, Russian-Mafia riff on THE GODFATHER (1972), this film offers flashy performances and bizarre plot twists, along with some variable Soviet accents. With his Los Angeles-based criminal empire declining, emigre Oleg (Vladimir Mashkov) i… (more)