The Fighting Ballet Dancer? Really?

I prefer to know as little about a film as possible before I watch it other than the basics, the cast, director, budget but beyond that I hate to make my mind up before I’ve even seen it. When I review a movie I tell as little of the story as possible too for the same reason. I have fun watching a trailer after seeing the movie because the contrast is usually incredible and it shows you just how skillful some of these people are at creating an extremely exciting looking film trailer for a film that’s very, very bad. I watched the trailer for this and in this film’s case it pretty much told it like it was but what I did learn was that I’d never watch this film normally, not in a million years. The thought of a ballet dancer balleting the ass off the Russian Mafia to get her kidnapped sprog back, is taking my will to suspend disbelief just a shade too far. She may be able to move a bit like Bruce Lee but that’s as far as it goes (in real life) but she didn’t even get the ‘Karate Kid’ lessons from Mr Myagi with his “wash’a on’a, wash’a off” routine. I don’t usually mind those type of mindless action movies but I just never really envisioned one about a ballet dancer using her dancing skills like that, but I suppose everyone is entitled to have a try. I wonder what will be next, avenging sanitary product tester?

The acting is pretty solid by all the cast, even the stereo typed Russian gangsters they used were on their best acting behaviour. They were all so alike I suspect they were all bought from the local ‘Gangsters Are Us’ store, right from the Russian Gangster department, fully kitted out with muscle-bound waddle, receding shaved hair, black leather coats, permanent scowl, standard height & shape. Christian Slater who hasn’t been picking decent projects recently is the biggest attraction in this and his acting is the best I’ve seen from him in ages. He isn’t in the film throughout but certainly enough to keep fans happy. His wife is played by the very talented Sofya Skya who can act and dance extremely well. I’m just not buying the killer ballet moves for one second, however some of it did look quite good. Fellow Scot Angus Macfadyen has had one bad movie after another since he got his big moment playing Robert Bruce in ‘Braveheart’ but since has never been involved in anything of note. Cole Hauser was great as the junkie bounty hunter in ‘Pitch Black’ but he’s another actor finding it hard to get a decent role. He certainly performs well in this but it’s just another quickie to add to his resume and nothing more.

The writing is by no means original or inspired, it’s a basic ‘join the dots’ recipe with a $4 million budget, but director Robert Crombie has still put together a watchable thriller that’s been nicely filmed on location with decent acting, the characters weren’t all that good but it does make a good ‘B’ movie.


Grade: C+ (6/10)

E Blackadder

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