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Film review: Sputnik (15)

Sputnik, directed by Egor Abramenko. Picture: Mikhail Mokrushin

Sputnik, directed by Egor Abramenko. Picture: Mikhail Mokrushin

Mikhail Mokrushin

Sputnik (15) is the latest addition to the ‘bringing back something unexpected from space’ genre.

Sputnik, directed by Egor Abramenko.Sputnik, directed by Egor Abramenko.

Sigue, Sigue, Sigue went the Sputnik/ bang, bang, bang went the guns/ squelch, squelch, squelch went the alien lizard symbiote who arrived on Earth inside the body of a Soviet Cosmonaut (Fyodorov) in 1983. It’s not much of an existence, but every night he emerges from his host for walkies and dinner and it probably beats whatever it was doing up in space on his lonesome before he attached himself.

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The bringing back something unexpected from space genre began probably with The Quatermass Experiment in the 50s. This Russian effort has an intriguing period setting and, within its limited ambitions, is well executed. The problem is that what it has brought back is a load of old cobblers. Our Quatermass is maverick, doesn’t-play-by-the-rules psychologist Tatiana Klimova (Akinshima) and though I’m not an expert on Soviet-era secret military installations, I can’t believe that she’d have quite the run of the place she has here. Gaps in credibility can be overlooked if there is something innovative to see, but this only goes up familiar avenues. Next time we pick something up in space, could it be something original, please?

2/5 stars

Sputnik, directed by Egor Abramenko.Sputnik, directed by Egor Abramenko.

Directed by Egor Abramenko

Starring Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondarchuk and Pyotr Fyodorov. Out on digital platforms. In Russian with subtitles. 113 mins.

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