Siberia is 105 minutes long which, on average, makes for the best length for a movie – not too short, and not way too long like most Hollywood fare of late, but can it make for the best film when this is one in which Hollywood heavyweight Keanu Reeves (John Wick) isn’t taking it to the silver screen? Well, it has a simulateous cinema and download release, but you’ll be unlikely to see such a limited release outside of London.
So, for Lucas Hill (Reeves):
- He lives in a big posh house… like John Wick.
- He knows someone who is no longer around… like John Wick.
- He comes up against some Russian baddies… like John Wick.
The disappearance on his friend, Pyotr (Boris Gulyarin), leads him to go looking for the main in the titular place, via St Petersburg, but instead of looking for his friend, he’d rather get his feet under the table when he meets Katya (Ana Ularu).
He’s a diamond dealer, you see, and while trying to deal diamonds, he goes on a bear hunt, he sleeps with Katya (even though they have zero chemistry), he drinks vodka with Russian men, he sleeps with Katya again, there’s some mumbling Russian-accented lines, and doesn’t do a lot else, until the time when she demands they do the business again, and he dutifully agrees.
Oh, and there’s a wife-swapping scene that makes no sense.
However, I did rather like the early morning shot of St Petersburg, as well as other scenes of the city. It reminds me that I’d love to revisit there one day.
So, diamonds, Russian girlfriend, missing best friend… it’s like they took several ideas for a plot which we’ve seen countless times before, put them in a Scrabble bag, jumbled them around, and took them out one by one to see what came up first.
This is like one of those long-forgotten meandering early ’80s dramas where you watched it and you’re still waiting for it to start, even now.
Siberia has nothing to recommend it, very little reason to exist, and… ahem, it left me cold.
Running time: 105 minutes
Studio: Signature Entertainment
Released: November 16th 2018
Director: Matthew Ross
Producers: Braden Aftergood, Gabriela Bacher, Cassian Elwes, Stephen Hamel, Dave Hansen, Keanu Reeves
Screenplay: Scott B Smith
Story: Scott B Smith and Stephen Hamel
Music: Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans
Lucas Hill: Keanu Reeves
Katya: Ana Ularu
Boris Volkov: Pasha D Lychnikoff
Pyotr: Boris Gulyarin
Christa: Ashley St George
Sergei: Elliot Lazar
Raisa: Veronica Ferres
Gabby: Molly Ringwald
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.