Thursday, November 4, 2010

9TH COMPANY (2005) - the Commies are good in this one


Back in the 1980s, the Soviet Union were the biggest guys on the block and though they'd prove to world how tough and hairy chested they really were. In this moment of bravado, the Soviets decided to invade Afghanistan. Having the world's biggest and most powerful military at the time gave them a big set of brass balls they weren't afraid to swing around. Unfortunately, they picked the worst f*cking place on this shiny planet Earth to invade. The Afghans take great pleasure in kicking ass: they had done it to the Mongol hordes, they did it to those snooty British, and they sure as hell weren't gonna let Ivan get some. Long story short, Afghanistan turned out to be a nightmare for the Soviet bear, turning into their version of Vietnam. Except with Osama bin Laden. And deserts. And mountains. Mountains everywhere.

If I were a man of the gambling sort, I'd wager half these guys will eat it by the end of the movie.
9th Company is one of the best known Russian movies of recent times, and with good reason, since it was a major blockbuster over in the land of bears, vodka and oversized Moon rockets. Even President Putin liked it. When Putin likes it, you know that shit's gonna be successful. Director Fyodor Bondarchuk's movie tells a pretty familiar story of some raw army recruits being trained into soldiers and sent off to fight the bearded Afghans. As with almost every war movie you've probably seen to date, the group of recruits has its varied characters: the street-wise rough kid, the stuck up rich guy, the horny bastard, the wimp who pees his pants, and the philosophical artist guy who makes deep comments about the nature of war. Yawn. It's all been done before, and in better fashion.

These guys have aimbots.
As generic as the story is, it works well enough to keep the plot moving along. The recruits are sent to paratrooper school, where they get assigned to a hard as nails Lieutenant Dygalo (Mikhail Porechenkov), who is a veteran of the war and sports a gnarly scar on his face to prove it. Dygalo takes special pleasure in working  his recruits extra hard and they soon start to crack under the pressure. Of course, it's revealed that Dygalo actually was the lone survivor of a terrorist ambush, so he makes sure his platoon is ready for the brutal war ahead of them. After their training is complete, they are sent to Afghanistan and soon get their first taste of shit blowing up in front of them at a rapid pace.

Protip: when at war, wear a helmet.
They realize the Afghans are not to be messed with, since they're pretty good fighters and use caves and ambushes to hide and kill Russians. The protagonists' company is sent to guard some god forsaken hill with a new hard ass commander. Soon enough, the small group of Russians is abandoned and forced to defend their outpost against some hundreds of angry, rocket launcher packing Afghans, setting up the story for the grand finale in the last  hour or so.

9th Company is a good war movie with a few basic flaws. The acting is a bit over the top, which is to be expected in most war movies, but this movie really does have a gung-ho feeling throughout most of it. The story also muddles along until the guys arrive in Afghanistan, dealing with the characters' backgrounds, their encounter with a hot Russian blonde (plenty of gratuitous nudity involved) and their training. Once in the war itself, the pacing picks up and the action pieces are well done. The final battle especially is the highlight of the movie, with the fight lasting a few days and being bonkers in regards to the amount of ass kicking the Russians hand out to the Afghans. It's a decent flick about a war that most people haven't seen much about. Recommended.

TL;DR - Russians go on the set of Rambo 3 and kill Rambo's friends in some brutal mountain fighting - 7.5/10

19 comments:

  1. Cant believe I havent seen this yet.

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  2. Hmm a war movie from a perspective that isn't AMURIKA? I'll watch it.

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  3. i love your reviews xD such an awesome blog

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  4. AK47

    Every good war movie needs a few hundred.

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  5. Sounds pretty awesome. Wish our old president wouldve seen this movie...

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  6. Don't often see a movie from the viewpoints of the Russians. I'll have to look into this.

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  7. Lol nice. There's actually a club at my school that is all about watching movies like this. Maybe I'll attend a meeting where they are showing it!

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