HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Beginning
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
   
 
  Gorky Park The Sun Sets In The East
Year: 1983
Director: Michael Apted
Stars: William Hurt, Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy, Ian Bannen, Joanna Pacula, Michael Elphick, Richard Griffiths, Rikki Fulton, Alexander Knox, Alexei Sayle, Ian McDiarmid, Niall O'Brien, Henry Woolf, Tusse Silberg, Patrick Field, Jukka Hirvikangas
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Arkady Renko (William Hurt) has often felt he is in the shadow of his late father, as they both have similar jobs as top investigators for the Moscow police, which doubles as a militia, and when one case arises which seems impossible to solve those superiors who knew his father can barely hide their pleasure that they think he is out of his depth. It's a baffling case all right, as near Gorky Park, where skaters had been playing, three dead bodies have been found frozen in the snow, their faces removed so as to prevent identification. So if nobody knows who they are, and there are no leads, what will Renko do?

Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko series of Russian-set mystery thrillers would seem an obvious choice for adaptation, if not to the big screen then maybe the small, but as it was contemporary versions of them began and ended with Gorky Park, one of a collection of American-made movies which obsessed over life behind the Iron Curtain, and one of a number which had it in mind that all the Soviets really wanted to do was not stay in their own country and hope to make a better life there, but instead to defect to the West where they could get all the American freedom they wanted, see also Moscow on the Hudson, White Nights, and so on.

If you could accept that rather arrogant position on the part of the States, then what you really had was a detective story more than a spy story, even with the involvement of the KGB in the plot, and the curious sight of an American movie set in Russia, filmed in Finland with a mostly British cast and director (Michael Apted). William Hurt chose not to use a Russian accent but went for a strange, sort of English inflection often slipping to reveal his native tones, which did not make him blend in with the Brits and more had you wondering why he didn't simply not bother with the accent. Elsewhere, Joanna Pacula played Irina, the woman who may be the key to the conundrum, using her Polish accent though telling us she was from Siberia.

Seriously, if you're preoccupied with accents, Gorky Park was quite the movie to see, but then there was the plot to be getting on with, something which was all too easy to allow to get away from you as you worked out who was doing what to whom and why. It centred around the sable smuggling operation of Lee Marvin's American Jack Osborne, evidently taking a break from reality television, and his links to the three people found dead in the park. Pay attention and this will tie up after a fashion, though Dennis Potter's script featured many distractions, not least in how its words were spoken by some strange casting choices, a selection of people you couldn't credit with being the characters they were supposed to be, sinister or otherwise.

For a start, Scottish audiences thought it was hilarious that popular comedian Rikki Fulton was playing the KGB official who is meant to be a coldhearted monolith of a man, but whenever he was on the screen they were reminded too much of watching Hogmanay sketch show Scotch and Wry every year - all that snow we see on the ground surely didn't help, and neither did Hurt accusing him of being a "festering baboon!" in one emotionally charged scene. Another comedian, Alexei Sayle, appeared as a black marketeer but was still essentially Alexei Sayle, and Ian McDiarmid was in the interesting position of having been in a film written by Potter, and bearing such a physical resemblence to him that he pretty much played the writer in one of his final works for television. Other famous faces hoved into view, including Brian Dennehy as a New York detective visiting Moscow and with a link to Renko's case, but while they provided a certain novelty, there was too much of a grey, unexciting quality to Gorky Park which failed to lift what could have been a fair suspense piece. Music by James Horner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2620 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


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
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: