Russian Raid

A security job under the blue skies of the tropics ensuring an arms deal goes smoothly for an anonymous contractor known as the Ghost offers little challenge for Nikita, former special operations soldier turned mercenary for hire, but the pay isn’t enough to turn a blind eye to the identity of the man who steps out of the armoured jeep, the crime lord who years before killed his father.

His failed attempt to bite the hand that fed him unnoticed in the ensuing chaos, back home Nikita agrees a contract with Sergey Vicktorovitch, an ambitious fixer who needs Nikita to take command of a team of supposedly professional soldiers as they infiltrate a vodka factory, neutralising the heavy security and gaining access to the board meeting, a “hostile takeover” negotiated from a position of strength.

Led by Alexander, the soldiers are street thugs who have little interest in taking orders from Nikita or following his plans but fortunately their arrogance is justified by their considerable skills at hand to hand combat, Sergey having been assured there will be weapons on site, unaware that the warehouse is a front used by the Ghost who is unlikely to abide by the rules of the game.

A flaming house of sharp-edged cards built around the escalating confrontations between the factory security and the intruders, the growing division between Nikita and Alexander and the subsequent makeshift alliances of those left standing against the private army of the Ghost, Russian Raid (Русский Рейд) is as energetic and preposterous as it sounds, defiantly standing by the maxim that Russians never surrender.

Directed by Denis Kryuchkov from a script co-written with Olga Loyanich and Robert Orr, the cast is led by stuntman Ivan Kotik as Nikita with world heavyweight kickboxing champion Vladimir Mineev as Alexander, Alexandr Krasovskiy as the ruthless Ghost and Ilya Antonenko as Sergey, sharp dressed and a smooth talker but unprepared for the plan to unravel yet still taking courageous responsibility for his men.

Motivations tenuous and character development strictly secondary to action which borders on non-stop, the supporting cast are drawn from the field of Mixed Martial Arts rather than more traditional dramatic arts, their varied physical skills on full display and showcased in extended scenes of combat which border on complex dance routines, so perfectly they are choreographed and performed, Russian Raid unlikely to win Oscars but sure to beat any competition.

Russian Raid is available on Blu-ray digital download from Monday 22nd March



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