Gorky Park Reviews
We are rooting for Detective Renko to discover the truth of accentless english, and through the many twists and turns in his adventure with language skill development, we almost see his accent vanish altogether. Sadly, he ultimately loses his linguistic battle and we find ourselves just as aggravated as Renko, as he still..has a slight accent. Not all is lost, there is hope, while we are left with the impression that many of his comrades are also learning english, and are escaping the confines of their soviet prison where everyone speaks with permanent russian accents (if they speak english at all!). We try not to think too hard about those poor souls...it's sad.
Nevertheless, the acting is solid and the direction superb. The opening scene with the ominous music is made even eerier by the innocent fun the camera is showing, and the camera following behind the girl's ice skates (in themselves a key plot point) is a brilliant touch. Setting a fairly conventional murder mystery in Soviet Russia may be a bit gimmicky, but at least it's a good gimmick.
But the mystery still comes up pretty flimsy. Aside from that, it's a pretty good movie. I like the conflicted William Hurt character and Dennehy's US Joe. Marvin was probably a stretch but, why not - it's Lee Marvin! More so, is there ever a time when a movie with a Russian setting doesn't look like a nuclear winter?