Red Serpent (2002)

Red Serpent (2002)- * * *

Directed By: Gino Tanasescu

Starring: Michael Pare, Anna Artsibashewa, Oleg Taktarov, Deron McBee, Alexander Nevsky and Roy Scheider

Steve Nichols (Pare) is a businessman who gets mixed up in the Russian mafia during a business trip there. When his daughter Kate (Artisibashewa) is kidnapped by some baddies, Sergei (Taktarov) ends up helping him, because a certain trauma in his own past motivates him. The problem: Hassan (Scheider) is an evil arms dealer who wants Nichols to secretly import some drugs to the U.S., and is using Kate as collateral. Will the unlikely team Nichols and Sergei save the daughter and get revenge against Hassan and his top henchman Albert (Malibu AKA McBee)? 

Comparable to similar efforts like Straight Shooter or Gunblast Vodka (though it's not nearly as insane as the latter), Red Serpent still is firmly in the "weird European movie" category that we all love and enjoy. The presence of funny editing techniques such as "fast motion" and off-kilter cuts - not to mention the silly dubbing - only add to the "???" feel of the experience. You may feel confused, but it's all in good fun. 

Naturally, there is an abandoned warehouse fight at the end - with Malibu, thankfully - and even a last-minute "Assemble a Team" subplot that is a lot of fun. There's yet another subplot involving gangsters in L.A. that acts as a contrast to the snowy Moscow climes. Interestingly, Alexander Nevsky, in an early role, is in the California-based footage as a heavy. Also, it should be noted that there is a fight scene, all too short though it is, between Michael Pare and...a member of a certain colorful profession that we don't want to spoil. But it's original, we'll give it that. Pare also exits a room in a noteworthy fashion during a gun deal gone wrong (GDGW). 

The proceedings are ultimately capped off with an exploding helicopter to remember. If you don't laugh out loud at this moment, it's time to lighten up, dude. 

This was the first movie I ever rented on Netflix. It may not have been the most auspicious start to my life of "Red" envelopes, but where else would I have seen Red Serpent at the time? 

In the end, most people would write off Red Serpent as stupid and/or dumb. But seen in the proper light, you will be entertained by it. 

Comeuppance Review by: Ty (with a special revamp by Brett)

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