Free Press Journal

The Crew : Disaster flick


Film: The Crew

Cast: Leonid Zinchenko, Danila Koslovsky,Vladimir Mashkov,Agne Grudyte, Yelena Yakovleva, Sergei Shakur 

Director: Nikolay Lebedev

For a Russian film (usually stodgy notwithstanding eminences like Tarkovsky) The Crew isn’t bad at all, considering too, the modest (by Hollywood standards) amount spent on its making. Produced by Russia-1 Channel and the Russian National Cinema Foundation, the film is a reboot of Alexander Mitta’s 1979 film The Air Crew, which was a massive hit in Russia. Just like this one.

“The Crew” is a disaster flick which reserves the thrills, spills and chills for the second half. In the first half, exposition rules: the narrative straddles the generation gap aka parent-offspring conflict, rebellion (adult) and independence (by the female love interest) The central characters are pilots who risk their lives to evacuate people stranded on an volcanic island. Rebellion is encapsulated in the character of Alex (Danila Koslovsky) Guchsin, the young pilot who is sacked by the military for insubordination.

Fortunately, he finds gainful employment as a co-pilot in an airline, where his cocky behaviour aggravates his seniors (pilot Leonid Zinchenko) But his character is  properly tested when a flight is diverted to a rescue mission on the aforementioned island. This is when the film-maker pulls all the stops out to make the film an adrenalin-charged experience. The  action is relentless. The special effects, awesome. The camerawork, terrific. The pilots, handsome. The dubbing, tedious. So tiresome is it; really, it’s enough to put you off. Ignore it and enjoy the action.