30 September 1999 | Penfold-13
Set in modern Russia, the neo-Nazis, a Catholic monastery, and an American or two get embroiled in attempting to smuggle valuable icons.
The plot is extremely complicated and difficult to follow unless you concentrate. But it's worth concentrating, because its many twists and turns keep up a good level of suspense.
Martin Sheen is only a supporting actor, and the action is led by Chris Penn, who seems a little too cherubic for his character.
The setting is bleak: clearly the Russia where it takes place is lawless and dangerous. Improvisation, courage, and ingenuity are needed to survive.
It's a taut, exciting story, although there are a couple of leaps in the plot which demand a certain suspension of disbelief, but they're quickly forgotten.
Good, competent story-telling makes a good 90 minutes.