HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  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 9249 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
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: