Red Mob (1992)- * * 1\2
Directed by: Vsevolod Plotkin
Starring: Vladimir Menshov, Sergey Veksler, Dmitri Volkov, and Aleksandr Rozenbaum
Oleg (Menshov) is a toughguy who, on his return from the Russian war in Afghanistan, becomes the lead instructor of a survivalist training camp. It's here that he trains anyone who signs up in how to survive in rugged terrain, shirtless horse riding, and other valuable tricks of the trade. When his young son Yura (Volkov) is kidnapped by the evil Jaffar (Rozenbaum), both Oleg and his second-in-command Nick (Veksler) snap into action. They employ all the warrior skills they've got on their mission to save Yura from the clutches of the RED MOB. Will they survive another day? Do find out...
We're very happy that Vinegar Syndrome rescued Red Mob from certain obscurity in the U.S. Now that it's available on their DVD/Blu-ray combo package, we can see all the Russian blow-ups, Russian shootouts, and Russian helicopter explosions for ourselves. One of the best aspects of the movie was the dubbing, which is pretty entertaining in its own right. Especially for Yura, who looks like he's about twelve years old but his voice sounds like a 35-year-old man. Red Mob gets off to a bang-up beginning and we're definitely interested in seeing what happens...
The biggest flaw with Red Mob is the 113-minute running time. If it was 85 minutes, we might be dealing with a new classic, but it's filled with a lot of extra stuff and the audience isn't always exactly clear on what's going on. But, on the flip side of that, a lot of time is allotted for blow-ups, including multiple helicopters. All in all, it's an interesting product of its time and place, and for that it's definitely worth seeing.
The soundtrack has plenty of synthy moments and Nick steals the show when he does the classic 'screaming while shooting a machine gun.' Red Mob is light years better than Solo Voyage: The Revenge, the so-called "Russian Rambo" movie from 1986, which we watched but decided not to review for the website because of its extreme dearth of action. That's certainly not the case with Red Mob, which delivers a lot of action goods.
Despite any language or cultural differences, if nothing else, Red Mob proves that action truly is universal. So, yes, it is a bit on the long side, but we would encourage any interested parties to check out RED MOB.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty