Dir: Vitaliy Vorobiov
Starring: Nikita Yefremov, Yekaterina Astakhova, Aleksandr Daydov
Films about WWII are a plenty, that entire film sub-genre has many interesting films and those that aren’t so good. My interest on these films is pretty high, I find the subject fascinating and I do like to see the subject tackled from different perspectives. The Bomber certainly has that going for it, it is a Russian film about a soviet aircraft that unfortunately crashes on Nazi occupied land. There are survivors, but surviving the crash is the least of their worries as they have to make it out alive, they have Nazi’s to worry about, Russian guerrillas and defection to deal with.
The Bomber was originally an 8 part series made for Russian TV, and at 3 hours in length it really feels that way. It is actually something I think works better in two blocks at 90 minutes each, rather than something to watch straight through. It is ‘based on real events’ as WWII films usually are (unless it is something like Captain America: The First Avenger type of course, although how cool would that have been if it actually happened?) and the stories are always captivating, and this one is no different. There is certainly a lot here to take in and get engaged with but again the length of the piece just feels too long and interest can get a little lost.
The film has quite a few sub-plots and I think they actually work in its favour as it adds more layers and intrigue. It has a nice amount of action, which looks pretty good for something made for TV. This isn’t the typical film that I think most audiences familiar with Hollywood films would expect, it’s quite different than those and this alone actually makes it worth seeking out. Seeing WWII films from different countries is something I really like to see, and getting a grasp on how the war affected others is an eye opener.
The acting here is fine but nothing overly memorable, and Vitaliy Vorobyov did a pretty decent job directing the piece. At this length it is hard to believe this was based on a short story (by Mikhail Veller), and it feels stretched out and there are some bits that feel a little weak. Overall this is an interesting film and experience despite its flaws, and if you are interested in a WWII epic than this may just be for you.
The Australian DVD:
The DVD I reviewed was a screener, so I am unable to comment on Picture/Audio quality.
DVD details here.
Thanks to Bill, care of Eagle Entertainment for the copy.