Commando - the Russian Remake

I spent most of today trying to my US taxes, and mostly failing. Wrestling with the American Inland Revenue Service's forms is like wrestling with a pack of disgruntled alligators, except that the IRS is much more motivated than your average alligator to keep tearing off your limbs, and then patiently wait for them to regrow before tearing them off again.

I'm sorry, I got distracted in a mini-rant. Anyway, as part of my procrastination I discovered (don't ask how) that the Russian film industry had made an 80%+ shot-for-shot remake of everyone's favourite 1980's Arnie film "Commando" as "День Д" (D-Day), starring a chap called Mikhail Porochenkov who's every bit as manly as 1980's Arnie, but has much more comprehensible dialogue. Even though the film is in Russian without subtitles.

And, glory of glories, the movie is available in its entirety on YouTube:

For burning 90 minutes of your tax-preparation time, it's hard to beat. You can even play it at 1.5x or 2x speed, and not miss any significant dialogue or plot points.

Mr. Porochenkov delivers a very good alternate to Arnie's character, and the girl who plays his daughter isn't Alyssa Milano but she gets the job done. The Bennett (Vernon Wells) equivalent is awful, he's just a hulk of barely-speaking muscle rather than Wells' scarily crazy character, but the climactic fight between the two is, honestly, much more homoerotic than the original. It's quite disturbing.

The Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong) equivalent is a bit short on the emoting front, but is acceptably attractive, and within five minutes you're praying for their version of Sully (David Patrick Kelly) to suffer a long and painful death as long as it's a) soon and b) mostly off-screen. I suspect the Russian director's decision to move the shopping mall scene to a poolside location was strictly to increase the fanservice component of the film - for all sides of the audience,but at least they kept in a version of "This is my weak arm":

It's well worth 90 minutes of your time - or 60 minutes, or 45 minutes, depending on playback speed and your desire to hear the dialogue - to compare with and contrast to the original. Oh, those Russians.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are subject to retrospective moderation. I will only reject spam, gratuitous abuse, and wilful stupidity.