Phew, what to say about this movie. There is simply too much to discuss. This is quite the impression you will get watching this film. It rushes from theme to theme, literally rushes! Let's start at the very base, a Strugatsky novel. I read a few Strugatsky stories, most notably of course "Roadside picnic". "Obitaemyy ostrov" however is not "stalker", no 10 out of 10 that is.
The brothers Strugatsky were Soviet writers, so some of their stories dealt with the soviet ideal human. In "Obitaemyy ostrov" earth has made it, and no doubt, all humanity transformed into perfect (probably communist) beings. That means every human being utilizes all of his/her potential: Mentally, physically and ethically. The latter is of most importance. A perfect communist is of almost angelic moral integrity. Whatever powers he will possess or obtain, he will not use these in any selfish or abusive way.
That said, our "hero" is a most beautiful, well build "Übermensch" (astonishing blond an blue eyed) from earth, with perfect integrity and morality. He is young, and unfortunately crashes on a strange planet. His spacecraft explodes, he is lost. As he is an "Übermensch", he is not desperate.
In fact he is imprisoned by a totalitarian state, escapes by accident, falls in love, and the story really gets complicated from then on. Right now there are true spoilers to come. So stop reading, if you want to watch the movie unbiased.
The unknown fathers reign over a city, that is (of course) a mixture of Metropolis and Blade Runner, and a little design of Dune. As the story evolves you will learn that almost everyone is controlled be rays send out by so called defense towers. These rays work at a subconscious level. Our hero is immune, as is a group of people, fought by the state as terrorists. Well the (super-)earthling becomes (in order of appearance) a prisoner, guard elite soldier, free individual and lover, terrorist, convict, runaway convict, terrorist leader, member of the establishment, revolutionary and finally earthling again. The hero is somewhat naive. He tries all these positions like a youngster without any prejudices.
In the end, he knows about the foundation of the political system. The political elite of the state resembles a bit Stalin's system. The state's attorney is in trouble. That means he is about to be murdered. He tries to convince our hero to destroy the central of the ray-emitting towers and take over the power after wards. With the help of some co-convicts the hero succeeds, but destroys the central of power instead.
One of the very nice and intelligent moments of the movie is the instance, where the friends of the hero take over power. And one really feels the temptation of power. Almost brilliant.
One high ranking member of the government turns out to be human (thus superhuman) as well. He is furious about the actions of our young hero. The so called roamer tries to change the system since 20 years. But he tries to avoid unnecessary losses or victims. He is the man for the slow change, no revolution. The young hero is the revolutionary, simply incapable of bearing the injustice. While exchanging some intellectual backgrounds the roamer and the hero beat hell out of each other. Really strange (for super-humans) I think. And naturally, the young rebel insists on a quick change.
The movie is optically splendid, albeit the cgi is about 10 years behind. They have enough budget to make things look convincing most of the time. Designwise they steal from a lot of movies.
The film was more entertaining than I expected. But it has too much to tell to be really great. A lot of interesting things just rush by. Well, and the same might be true about this comment.