Siberia – Review

There is a tremendous amount of affection out there for Keanu Reeves. He has had a long and, on the main part, successful career. So much so that there is now the KeanuCon film festival dedicated to his craft debuting in Glasgow, UK this coming April. As with any new release from the man there is always some anticipation of seeing something with a bit of style and more importantly, entertaining. Unfortunately Siberia is neither.

Keanu plays Lucas Hill, a diamond trader who has travelled to St. Petersburg for a meeting about the sale of some rare blue diamonds. Upon his arrival he discovers that his Russian partner has disappeared along with thesample of the diamonds. The people he is due to meet are not exactly the patient kind and he faces a race against time to locate his product before his livelihood and very existence are put at risk.

Unfortunately this is not a good film at all. The brief synopsis above pretty much covers the main plot and all its intracicies. it could have been told in about twenty minutes if it wasnt padded out to a very flabby ninety minute running time. The problem is that the sub plots are not interesting in the least and add little to the overall story. In order to track down his partner he travels to a remote Siberian town where he ends up stranded due to weather conditions. Lucas ends up in a sexual relationship with a local bar owner. This sideline actually takes up more of the running time than the supposed main story. It is rather dull and entirely predictable in its progression.

Then there are the sex scenes. It’s fair enough that a film has a scene that emphasises the passion generated between two people even though it is a device that is not particularly in favour theses days. Siberia ups the stakes by having three scenes just to really emphasise the fact that they really dig each other. You get the sneaking suspicion that they are there to pad out the run time rather than for plot reasons.

There are few things worse than a film that defies its own internal logic. In this case it is in the way that our hero behaves. The character of Lucas is initially set up as a man who is calculated and organised in every department. He seems to know what he is doing. That assumption is then ripped away with a series of decisions that are counter to his initial status. In one scene in Siberia he is shown as being a capable marksman with a rifle that is unfamiliar to him. One shot is all it takes to hit his mark from a difficuly angle. So, why is it that when he is presented with the option of using a better weapon in a later scene where he has the chance to take out a major opponent with ease does he choose to kill one of the random henchmen standing right beside him. Plot reasons I suppose.

Reeves must have seen something in the film as he actively supports it by getting noted as a producer as opposed to the vanity credit of associate producer. I failed to find anything that could keep my interest in this movie. The Russians were all standard caricatures. Either gangsters with a taste for deep stares, broken English and violent outbursts, Siberian locals that drink, fight and drink some more and a lead female character that is only there so the American saviour can come in and free her from her drab life.

Siberia is really not worth your time. Despite the presence of Keanu, this is a poor film.

John McArthur
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