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  • provp17 March 2011
    I liked the film a lot. Sure enough, as an action film, it is more realistic than the Rambo movies, but it is not its biggest merit. I'd recommend watching the film only for the sake of getting to know the Russian perspective on things - Westerners, Chechen "freedom-fighters", the Russian army, Moscow, the Russian "outback", etc).

    I did not see any problem with Ian Kelly's acting, he looked quite convincing to me - after all he was playing the role of a British actor.

    My favourite quote from the film:

    John: This is an offence against our human rights!

    Chechen (in Russian): What does he want?

    Russian translator (in Russian): He wants to drink.

    Chechen (in Russian): Tell him to shut up or he'll get the gun-stock.

    Russian translator: John, shut up.
  • This film is both very different and very superior to American war movies. The latter these days are marred by moral equivalence, sanitisation and excessively balletic theatricality, with battle scenes looking like firework displays filmed in slow motion as the orchestra swells to a cheesy crescendo. This film, by contrast, is infused with an industrial-strength dose of Russian cynicism. It's refreshing to see a lack of PC cant in its depiction of a genuinely evil enemy. For once it has a realistic portrayal of the religion of peace, with peace-loving Islamic terrorists peacefully beheading civilians for internet decapitation videos and leaving their victims in a particularly peaceful state. When they're not welshing on deals or slaughtering the infidel, they're settling scores with each other in inter-clan blood feuds. However unlike older American & British war movies which weren't made by leftists, the nominal good guys on the Russian side are incompetent, corrupt and unmotivated. The battle scenes are very realistic, neither sanitised and bloodless, nor baroque self-indulgent slow-motion Peckinpahesque spectacles. They are gory but not overly spectacular or thunderous, heroic in the abstract but sordid. Civilian casualties are inevitable, somewhat regrettable but unavoidable. It's particularly relevant to see the effete, whining, hypocritical Pilgeresque Englishman demanding human rights from those who spit at the concept, anguishing over the deaths of "civilians" travelling with the terrorists, then putting the whole party in danger with his wild shooting.

    In refreshing contrast to Hollywood, the acting is excellent and the plot is tight yet unpredictable. The denouement had me laughing out loud for the way it highlights the hypocrisy of everyone in dealing with the reality of war. The cinematography is magnificent, especially in the mountain tops and steep valleys. The jeep being rolled down the steep gorge was a particular highlight.
  • The story: Two British actors are kidnapped somewhere in Georgia and are delivered to Chechnya. The kidnappers demand a ransom, while victims are sitting in a hole in the ground. That's where they meet captain Medvedev (Sergey Bodrov Jr) and Ivan Ermakov (Aleksey Chadov). Medvedev is wounded and very strict, but Ermakov seems to have adjusted and is even helping out the Chechen gang (tribe?) leader with computers.

    When Chechen leader - Aslan - learns that he can't get any money he let's the British man go home and get two million pounds to buy out his fiancée. As a gesture of generosity he lets go Ermakov.

    The Brit - John - is trying to get the money, and Ivan experiences a post-war life for a Chechnya veteran in his town - no money, no work, ill father. Somehow, John, who was kicked out by every Russian official, finds Ivan and begs him to help him get his fiancée out. Ivan has nothing to lose and he agrees to back to Chechnya...

    The movie: This is certainly one of the, if not THE, best movies of Aleksey Balaganov. The story that intertwines lives of Russian soldier, Chechen barbarian bandit and totally not ready for the war as it is British civilian. As always, there is a very deep meaning in every dialogue, every scene and even every look of every character. The music like in many other Balaganov's movies is mostly popular Russian and some Ukranian songs, that emphasize each act and add more emotional content to it.

    Perhaps, the movie will shed some light on the situation in Chechnya, and the West will finally understand that you can't negotiate with these people and you can't let them have what they want, because it's never enough for them because they are different. If you're polite with them, they think you're weak - that's the main idea of Balaganov.

    John: - Ivan, why do you keep beating this man?

    Ivan: - Because this is the only way he will understand. (kicks the prisoner) Faster!

    Enjoy the movie. It's a rear quality movie about war.
  • I've just watched the movie and i liked it a lot. 1st thing i liked about it is that it gives an info about war in Chechnya, stuff i never knew much about, so that was the reason why i started to watch it. but, as the movie went on more and more good things about it started appearing. its pretty realistic, so different for regular USA action BSing (great explosions make great movie...LOL). i don't think that Muslim fighters were "bad guys" in this movie, at least they r not shown that way. yes, their prisoners work as slaves, they kill prisoners, starve them and stuff...but its shown just as a things that do happen in war. and, lets face it, they do. also, enemies (chechens) r not some people that we know nothing about, aslan in his conversation with Ivan clearly states why is he fighting and which side is "the right side" in that conflict. basically, all sides involved have their good and bad sides. fighting scenes r made just the way i like it: keeping it real, no cheap explosions to make stupid viewers say "aaahhh, thats great", no exaggeration of any kind. scenes of countryside r beautiful. the best part of the movie, IMO, is the ending. i could say that thats the point where only "bad guy" is revealed: john goes back and becomes famous and he doesn't give a f... about whats going on with his comrades back in Russia, he just lets those poor Russians and chechens rot, he himself not having any worry in the world. he just showed everything what he filmed without asking himself what would that cause to Ivan in Russia. Ivan, on the other side, showed himself to be man of principles, honest, brave, fair and firm. really nice movie, realistic, not idolizing anyone, not praising anyone, just showing the war as it is (nothing more and nothing less)
  • I expected this movie to be simply rubbish, instead i was won over by the quality of the acting (no thanks to Ian Kelly)and the authenticity of the setting. The cinematography was great too. Scenes of beautiful landscape would be contrasted by the gory shootouts as well as great shot of the 4x4 flying off the cliff, which upon meeting the bottom of the ravine was not met by a fireball. It is true that the firefights seem dull and even anticlimactic, however that is the whole beauty behind them. They didn't need to be sugar coated by big explosions and slow-mo deaths instead opting for a more realistic approach. Were some of the weapons real? In all this is a decent movie worthwhile watching because it allows you to take a break from the latest teen slashers and high octane Vin Diesel movies : )
  • From a British perspective, it's interesting to note the only really poor performance came from Ian Kelly (John), an English actor. Had it not been for his atrocious skills, the film would have been excellent. Casting him took some authenticity away from the film, but then again, why Ingeborga Dapkunaite as (Margaret) didn't have a single spoken line in the film didn't help either! Aleksei Chadov as (Ivan) put in a great performance, and all other elements came together to make good entertainment and a rare look at the Chechen "situation".

    This is probably one of the most realistic films I've seen gore-wise. Family entertainment it ain't.

    If you're male, and looking for something different from the usual blockbuster bore-fest, then give this a viewing!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Aleksei Chadov who plays the double part of Ivan (a Russian soldier) as well as narrator does a splendid job on both counts. "Voyna" is one of his early films and I believe he will be much sought after as an actor in future Russian films.

    This is an interesting film because in the latter half we get a glimpse of life in Chechna, something that has been pretty rare among Westerners. The film tends to give the Russian point of view of the continuing conflict in that area although there are a few gibes against the Russians in authority. One Chechnan makes a strong comment when he tells Ivan..."You are fighting because you were drafted into the army. We Chechnans are fighting because this is our homeland".

    The Chechnans are depicted as very cruel and calculating Muslims. When they take prisoners they hold them in underground dug-outs and demand large sums of money for their release. Unfortunately for the prisoners who are kept in the most unsanitary conditions their respective governments will not submit to terrorist demands. That means they are left to their own resources and escape seems almost impossible.

    One of the prisoners is John a British actor who was captured in neighbouring Georgia making a film with his fiancée Margaret. The Chechnan captain agrees to give John his freedom for a couple of months to find $2 million American dollars as ransom money holding Margaret in captivity as security. Ivan accompanies John on his search for help.

    Their frantic search for the money takes them to the embassies in Moscow and London. It's a race against time and they have no idea how Margaret is faring in her underground prison.

    The final scene is one of guerrilla warfare in which a number of pressing matters are resolved. There are many gory scenes in this film during which some viewers may wish to close their eyes, but I suggest they stay with it to the end.
  • Some people complain of the "boring" action scenes, but this is not true. The scenes that occur in villages or other close-quarters situations really are interesting. Many people expect something out of Commando or Total Recall, but that is not how these battles happen. Even at relatively close range, there isn't much that a pinned down, wounded soldier can do. He can shoot back, hoping to hit something, but he is more or less immobile and probably less aware of his surroundings. The battles that occur at range are slow because, well, they are. When soldiers are closing in on a location from, coming over a mountain and moving around, there isn't much you can do, even with a relatively accurate machine gun. You can fire off rounds here and there, but mostly it is about killing at least one or two of them, while conserving ammo for the time when the enemies are closer. You are even worse off with an AK-47 when are long ranges. That's why it isn't so exciting. It is, nonetheless, an interesting and realistic plot. No, the cars don't explode because the hero fired a few rifle rounds from a huge distance.
  • the really tricky thing and a very good question is why aleksei balabanov don't shoot movies in hollywood?i think that would be great thing both for this director and for hollywood.vojna is film of that kind that was filmed in america in the golden days of hollywood-late 60 till the end of 70 maybe early 80.but the thing is that film come from russia-does russians knows better what is a good action-war movie than anyone in america?YES i say, and i also say to give that man everything he needs to just keep shooting movies.by my humble opinion that was the best movie shown during fest-main belgrade film festival, recently ended.
  • I think this movie is great. A few things upset it a bit, but overall it's very true to the realty of the situation in Chechnya and Russia, which is ultimately what matters to me. I especially like the style with which the movie was shot. It is as if it is made of little pieces each with it's own tagline. It's not philosophical in most aspects; it just shows the reality and well... that's it. If the viewer wants to think about something he/she can, if not just take it as it comes.

    Plus at least it's honest with the viewer that in ANY war conflict civilians do die, unlike `Black hawk down'.
  • First of all I must say Voïna is a very interesting movie. Not only for the overall quality of acting and direction, but mainly for the light it sheds on the perception of the civil war in Chechnya. At first I would have said from a Russian perspective, but frankly after reading some of the reviews here I am really scared to see US citizens gobbling all that heavily biased rationalization of the conflict as the naked truth coming out of its shell.

    Balaganov here tries to adopt a relatively moderated point of view. For instance he talks about corruption and incompetence in the ranks of the MVD (ministry for internal affairs, roughly comparable to the home office, in charge of the repression in Chechnya instead of the regular army since this is considered an internal matter by the Russian government). He also drops some allusions to the question of the neo-tsarist elites in Moscow, disconnected from the overwhelming majority of the population, and a few other such politically incorrect matters.

    However, the crass caricature of Chechen bandits with the IQ of your average German grunt in saving private Ryan and the oriental wickedness of old Fu-Man-Chu paperback villains should not be seen as anything but a measure of the mindless hatred for Chechens that permeates the whole of Russia.

    I happened to work as an interpret for asylum seekers in France for about one year, including quite a lot of refugees fleeing Chechnya, both Russians (mostly soldiers or members of mixed families) and Chechens. It does not require a lot of efforts to get a better picture of the situation than "a bunch of people too different to come to term with" as I had the utter displeasure of reading in another review on this very site.

    The fact that a director known for its ironic point of view on the current state of affairs in Russia could not help but reproduce these hateful stereotypes in a movie dealing with one of the most atrocious war currently raging on the planet, and which is still dragging on to this very day, should be an occasion to measure the gravity of this conflict instead of a reassuring comfort for cheap xenophobic thoughts.

    If you want to see what a first degree modern Russian war movie looks like, you could give a go to Zvezda (IMDb reference http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0326450/ ), also issued in 2002. Sort of a WWII propaganda movie shot in the 21st century that would make John Wayne in Iwo Jima look like a yellow-livered defeatist. Alternatively, try to watch the video clip of the hugely successful song "davaï za" from the Lube band to have a taste of the average representation of this conflict Russia tries to build to rationalize the horrors committed in this country. I think having another go at Voïna after such kind of propaganda masterpieces could be a far more enlightening experience.

    Well of course if you are the kind of patriotic freak ready to gobble such glorifications of war as long as it makes you comfortable about where the bad guys live, just forget about all I wrote and enjoy the gore.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The plot really reminded me of the old Chuck Norris action movies. Soldier, taken prisoner, manages to get free, then comes back and takes revenge.

    The difference is that this is nowhere near over the top as a traditional action film. Grenades don't go off like mini-nukes, cars don't burst into flames when shot, gunshots sound as unimpressive as they are in reality, fights are not elaborately choreographed dance sequences. There are quite a few places where disbelief must be suspended, but they aren't painful in the context of the film. Other notable action movie aspects that are missing are one-liners and the happy end. However, there is an absolutely classic equipment-gathering scene.

    This low-key realistic approach coupled with little touches of Russian life is what makes this movie good.

    The acting... Well, the two main characters aren't that great, but in a way that works. Both of them are supposed to be amateurs, forced into action by circumstance. In fact, Ivan's amazing transformation from an imprisoned private who was drafted into the army into a commando is one of the less believable aspects of the film.

    Those expecting deep social commentary and much philosophy will probably be disappointed. Seeing this as a different kind of an action movie works much better.
  • A British couple is kidnapped by the Chechens for a ransom of a million pounds - a ransom that nobody is able to pay. A Russian soldier is also a prisoner of Chechens but he ain't worth a dime. So the Briton and the Russian are let go - the former is told to come up with the ransom while his girlfriend stays with Chechens, the latter is sent with a message to hurry up the exchange of a Russian officer for the imprisoned brother of the Chechen warlord. Naturally, there is not enough money to buy back the British girl and no will on the part of Russians to exchange or rescue the Russian officer - so these two who were let go get back to Chechnya on their own accord to settle the affair in the Brat-2 style. With even bigger guns. Those who expect another art-house movie like Of Freaks and Men will be very dissapointed. This movie is as one-dimensional as they come: Chechens are evil, Russians are corrupt, Westerners and the press are hypocritical, Russian army is incompetent, so it is up to our hero armed only with a shotgun to take upon himself the Chechen war (vojna). At least there is an improvement to the Brat-2 movie - he doesn't have to make a shotgun from a waterpipe and two rolls of duct tape.
  • Captured by Chechen rebels, a British actor is released from captivity only so he can raise the ransom demanded for his fiancée.

    But red tape, Government policy and indifferent bureaucrats thwart his efforts and, with the clock ticking, he heads back to Russia, hooks up with a cynical Siberian soldier with whom he was originally held and persuades him to return into enemy territory on an armed rescue mission.

    Striving at times for a documentary depiction of the horrors of war (beheadings for the internet, graphic deaths, the rape of a leading character), director Alexei Balabanov bolts on big chunks of Boys' Own adventure and Rambo-style action with mixed results.

    It's undoubtedly highly watchable but also feels very much like anti-Islamic, anti-Chechen propaganda.

    One major saving grace is Sergie Bodrov Jr, whose performance as the pragmatic Russian is easily the best thing here.
  • NIXFLIX-DOT-COM2 September 2003
    WAR (or VOJNA) is a good movie, make no doubt about it. It has some excellent performances by the actors, and the script is quite strong. But here's the thing: the entire movie seems strangely muted, as if the writer/director was afraid of being TOO interesting. The action scenes, the part of the movie that should have been really loud and frightening, instead looks rather...dull and nonchalant. Thousands of rounds are going off, but the whole sequence is staged to look like a high school play -- i.e. they're not very exciting at all.

    But for a film about the troubles in Chechna, this is one of the few movies that've touched the subject. Worth it just to understand the politics of the area.

    6 out of 10

    (go to www.nixflix.com for a more detailed review of this movie as well as reviews of other films from around the world)
  • This movie flashes some of the worst stereotypes that Russian masses are prone to. Two British actors are captured by Chechens for ransom, and a brave Russian soul saves the day sacrificing nobly for other people, whilst committing some atrocities that we are meant to applaud. Balabanov, who had more subtle moments, is just an old vet who has seen some stuff in Afghanistan, ergo his famed cynicism, that made it possible for him to rationalize war crimes he participated in. Bitter man, bitter, nationalistic, one sided movie for the masses hungry for pandering. At one moment, a westerner shouts to the Chechen "savages" - "that is against my human rights", while clearly no westerner could be that silly. But that is precisely how Balabanov wanted to see it, to soothe his crime ridden Afghan record. This movie sheds such an unflattering light on the late director, and reveals him as far less intellectually honest or profound as some might assume, had we not known that his Checkered Afghan vet record and rationalizations of war crimes in which he participated no doubt explain his not so noble cynicism...
  • "War" - a military action movie by Aleksey Balabanov. A Russian soldier who miraculously escaped from Chechen captivity decides to help an Englishman release his wife from captivity and returns to Chechnya in the midst of a bloody war. Together they will have to go all the way through the continuous fire of the madness of war. The best role of Aleksey Chadov in the movie.
  • Aleksey Balabanov is considered to be one of the best Russian directors of all time. Any Balabanov's film is complex and reveals important and relevant topics. Today I would like to tell about the movie "War" («Voyna»). Some say that it's the best movie that Balabanov had ever made. At the first glance, the movie doesn't try to indulge the viewer with an entertaining plot. The story focuses on two English actors (John and Margaret), who are brought to the captivity by Chechen rebels with several Russian prisoners of war, including Ivan - protagonist (played by Aleksey Chadov) and captain Medvedev (played by Sergey Bodrov Jr.). The Chechens used Ivan as the slave, but after a while they let him go because the Russian government won't pay a ransom for just an army private at all costs. Also, they let John to Great Britain where he has to raise the ransom money for him and for Margaret. Faced with difficulties of raising money in Britain, John comes to Russia, finds Ivan and asks him for help. The role of Ivan was first in career and appears to be one of the best for young Russian actor Aleksey Chadov. But it would be unfair not to mention the great acting work of Ian Kelly, Sergey Bodrov-Jr., Euclid Kurdzidis. Although the movie seems to be too uncomplicated, ordinary and to have the sheer sense of indulging to xenophobia (if we talk about the attitude of Russians to Chechen people), it's not worthy to take it unequivocally. Every important character for the plot is thoroughly worked out and is not caricatured by filmmakers. Balabanov didn't want to say "That person is a bloody evil, and that person is modest goodness itself", he tried to keep neutrality in that aspect. And, how I think, he achieved the target. As for me, that film raises the problem of war nature, relationship between nations, national identity. Admittedly, Balabanov showed the problems of our country and the whole society through the prism of II Chechen's war. Everybody could find meaning, ideas, and views in the "War". Someone will like this film, someone will perceive it in hostility. All in all, one thing cannot be denied - Aleksey Balabanov has managed to create one of the best, authentic and deeply developed movies about the war and about II Chechen war in particular. If you like Balabanov's films, you have to watch this one. Also, I can recommend it for people who are interested not just in Russian directors, but generally in films about war which has something more than mindless patriotism, loud shots, and explosions.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I think that Balabanov is a talented,professional director. When I saw this film first time at its release in Moscow,it didn't make me question about political correctness or authenticity of all events. It seemed so realistic. It left me even the impression that it was not at all a propaganda but rather a anti-war film like "Deer Hunter".

    Recently, when I watched it second time, I noticed that such impression was only an effect triggered by the composition of the scenario,music(as Russian lyrical films of late 60s and 70s,a little sad folk song is introduced), some concrete situation(Ivan came back from the front to his hometown and meets old friends,talks about dead classmates,who were killed not by Chechens but by Russians before war, then goes back to the front to help people whom he knows).

    So Balabanov has not only excellent skill of direction,but also a good knowledge of World and Russian cinema history. Thanks to these skill and knowledge, he could make a film,which can give another impression than the story itself contains. The story,in fact,is mainly about young Ivan's heroic and sincere behavior in a lot of difficult situations. All events are told by him and only make him a nice, brave and sincere Russian Man(Muzik)into which he was made in War.He is clever,sincere,tactful and hansom. I would not have asked why,if Margaret had fallen in love with him, not with Captain Medvedev,which Bodrov Jr. plays so colorlessly.

    "Brother" and "Brother 2" were contemporary fable and fairytale with real social background and individual views on it,but this time he show nothing new or unique.

    Well, "Voyna"it is much better than "Zvesda" with its old-fashioned demonstration of patriotism.

    But if he really wanted to show that War make a lad into true Man,the film is not only too simple, but rather worse than more minimal,but more deep in meanings "Blokpost" by A.Rogozhkin,or more simple, but more sincere "9-ya rota" by F.Bondarchuk.
  • The general ambiance of the film is acceptable - it's a 'boy's own' romp through the outback to rescue a fair maiden. The most outstanding quality belongs with the topography - the rugged terrain is almost a character in itself, providing a worthy obstacle and adversary, handled very well by the cinematographer, creating great vistas. The predominant colour here is green...which brings me to the acting ability of Ian Kelly. Rarely have I been so embarrassed with a compatriot's lack of skill. I sincerely wanted to curl up with shame. Whoever told this buffoon that he could act, needs speaking to. When we first encountered him and he uttered the opening of Hamlet's 'Quintessence of dust' soliloquy, I nearly fell off my chair, mouth agape. Surely this was a joke...and a pretty poor one too, considering the gravity of the subject matter. But no, Kelly was for real, he really did think that he was acting. Unbelievable! By the time he was hamming it up, (like no other could, even on a bad-stage day), near the end; wielding a gun and screaming like a banshee, the tears rolled down my cheeks. Absolutely fantastic - priceless. Think Alan Partridge playing Sylvester Stallone and you'll get the picture. All that money spent on the production and Kelly, a vortex of ineptitude, brings it crashing down. Wonderful.
  • lee_eisenberg4 October 2005
    On the one hand, "Voyna" (called "War" in English) seems like a cliché: the enemy - in this case the Chechens - kidnap some people, and a Russian soldier is sent back to try and get the ransom; when he can't, he has to turn into one bad mother.

    Granted, that sounds like something that we'd expect out of Hollywood. But "Voyna" does have a certain interesting aspect, something that I can't quite describe. If this movie has a problem, I guess that it mainly lies in the whole issue of Chechnya. Wouldn't it be better for Russia's government just to let it become independent? Oh well. That's just my opinion. See what you think.
  • harryplinkett1420 April 2019
    War demands determination and ruthlessness. Balabanov is right.
  • Balabanov at his best saying things you would never hear in public. Naming things with their real names, what could be worse for our hypocritical world? And the conclusion: the war has no justice no matter what side you pick. Or values. The concept must hurt all military generals in all countries. As well as weapon selling guys )) The most "criminal" thought that comes to mind: there must be something really wrong with the society which requires wars to solve its problems.
  • A British couple along with several Russians are held hostage by Chechen rebels . The British man John is released along with a Russian soldier Ivan . John is told by the Chechen leader Aslan that he was two months to raise $2 million dollars for the release of his companion Margaret otherwise she will be gang raped and beheaded

    VOYNA is a very strange film . Reading the above premise you can be forgiven for thinking it's going to be a dark gloomy thriller and if I tell you the opening scene features a Russian soldier getting his throat slit and another being decapitated this will no doubt reinforce your opinion that it's ultra violent but that's not really how it works out . John and Margaret are a couple of touring actors appearing in Shakespearian plays and this film has a feeling that it's the theatre of the absurd . This however doesn't mean it's an exceptional film and quite often is as implausible as the worst Hollywood action blockbusters

    One point people on this page have picked up upon is the score which seems to belong in another film but I do remember many years ago seeing a hard hitting documentary about the first Chechen War called THE BETRAYED that showed gut wrenching carnage and battle scenes from the front line with the most inapporpiate Euro-pop soundtrack playing over the action and one wonders if this influenced Aleksei Balabanov and he's trying to be ironic ? Whatever the reason it's slightly intrusive and interferes with the mood of the film

    Actually that's the other more major failing of the movie and the tone is very uneven and is slightly perplexing . It's probably fair to say this is a black comedy featuring the absurdity of war . After seeing people getting tortured and beheaded by the Chechens John is released and Ivan decides to help him and we see a quest where they run in to many colourful characters . But even then you find yourself asking if perhaps Balabanov could have pushed the boat out with a bit more insanity and fatalistic cynicism . Some scenes are implausible and sit in an uncomfortable manner with scenes that seem deadly serious and one wonders what point the director might be making ?

    At the end of the day VOYNA is a slightly unsatisfying film . It does hold the attention about a conflict that remains relatively unknown in Western Europe and just does enough to hold your attention but at the same time you'll be confused as to what the director is saying about this particular war
  • azat_nugm20 February 2005
    The acting is ridiculous. Chadov's attempts to play psychopath are so painful to watch I want to close my eyes in embarrassment that I'm still watching this movie, and I'm sure he was a casting mistake. Bodrov Jr. doesn't talk much and mostly bleeds. Dapkunaite was brought on for her amazing talent to look tragically silent. Kelly is the movie's substitute for Hollywood's "that negro clown"; ironically he turns to be the most interesting person to watch in the whole movie.

    It's sad that in "Voyna", a war movie, the short SUV shoot-out was the only good action scene in the whole movie; the rest are either badly scripted, or rushed and panned with that awful yawn-inducing music. If seeing a regular Joe Blows splatter Chechen bandits was one of the movie's major appeals (why the hell else make brutal beheading of a Russian POW for Al-Jazeera the first scene in the movie?), "Voyna" has failed miserably in this department. It does however raise some interesting and perhaps even illuminating points to the Western viewers as to how Chechyen War is seen by Russian citizens.

    All in all, I'm afraid Balaganov has forgotten what makes B-movies fun. A shame, because he did far better with another beer-and-popcorn movie of his, "Brat 2".
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