Russian Raid review by Bobby Blakey
Well Go USA continues to bring the best in foreign films to the masses with the focus usually on Asian and international cinema. Their latest, Russian Raid comes from first-time director Denis Kryuchkov who has brought together some the best MMA talent in Russia, including Ivan Kotik, Alexander Krasovsky, Elias Antonenko, Vladimir Mineev, Nikita Kologrivy, Sophya Ozerova, and Kirill Sarychev.
Russian Raid follows former special forces operative Nikita who returns to Russia as a mercenary long after the murder of his father—a secret agent killed in a missile factory raid. He leads an elite team on a top-dollar heist targeting the same facility, but no one else knows his true objective is revenge.
First you have to understand that this is not a remake of The Raid in anyway. Director Denis Kryuchkov is a big fan of the film so it was made as more of a homage to it than anything else. This made me excited for this film in hopes to get some great fights and action especially with all the MMA fighters brought in. While there is a ton of fighting it never fully lives up to much more than just average.
It takes a bit before we get to the meat of it all and when it starts the fists fly almost nonstop. The talent is here and the fights are decent, but nowhere near live up to the high octane pacing that inspired it. The biggest issue for me wasn’t eht quality of the fights but the pacing and speed. A lot of them came off as more choreography than believable action. I know it seems like a bash, but its not. I know firsthand the talent and work it takes to make these work and they put it in clearly. They just needed that extra edge to help them stand out.
The story itself is pretty thin and unbalanced making it not overly engaging outside of the action. This is even acceptable had the action lived up to the hype of it all, but instead it fell kind of flat. I didn’t hate the movie and actually
enjoyed watching the action and as a martial artist the slow pacing of them gave me a bit more pause to observe so many of the great techniques and combinations used, but the action fan wanted more edge and aggression.
I applaud the work that went into making the film and the talents of the fighters and stunt people involved just hoped for more. Decide for yourself and check out Russian Raid available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Well Go USA.