25 January 2020 | matthiasmikkelsen
A not really convincing russian war movie
Over the last decades war movies have become more realistic, showing the horrors and terrifying experiences soldiers of all nations are exposed to under battle. Since 1945 German war movies have almost always been Anti-war movies, like "Die Brücke", "Das Boot" and later "Stalingrad" and therefore leaving the audience depressive after viewing it. American War movies have mostly been glorifying vehicles for some kind of hero, which made them a bigger hit at the box office. That has basically first begun to change with "Apocalypse Now" and later the brilliant "Saving Private Ryan". British war movies are maybe kind of in-between and very well narrated with "1917" as the most recent, brilliant example. Most of those successful war movies have in common, that they bring us the persons and the events closer with high credibility and get the audience emotionally connected to the main characters - that is not the case with "The Tankers". The strange behavior of the male main character tank commander Konovalov towards his wife/ex wife, entering the story as a brilliant tank engineer, is never really explained. He is only described as a brilliant tactician but egocentric and ruthless man, for whom it is quite difficult to evolve any kind of sympathy. The background/charcters of the other tank crew members are only described on the surface if at all, they don't have their own story. But they all die "nicely" with "sleeping" eyes and as man doing their duty. You just don't buy it.
The movie promotes the heroic efforts of his KV 1 tank crew under the battle of Rostov and it is certainly understandable that Mosfilm would like to give the russian audience russian heros - they just didn't touch me.
They put some efforts in the tank battle scenes and usually russian war movies are, when it comes to WW II tanks and material, more accurate than western movies. But the fighting scenes are just not convincing at all! 10+ German Panzerkampfwagen IV attacking one russian KV 1 tank exposed on a hill top with the apparently long range 75 mm KwK 40 which could penetrate 40 mm steel on 700 m distance, making no significant damage at all!! Even without being a nerd, when watching those scenes, the movie almost appears comic-like.
The movie show a lot of russian war material and if you are interested in that it's worth watching, but it never get's you carried away.