The Russian Specialist

2005

The Russian Specialist

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44%

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User Ratings: 1,230
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Movie Info

The muscle-bound Swedish screen icon Dolph Lundgren, who rose to fame as boxer Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and held the title role in The Punisher, makes his sophomore directorial effort with the straight-to-video actioner The Russian Specialist (aka The Mechanik), a U.S./German co-production. Nick Cherenko (Lundgren), a Soviet Special Forces agent living and working in Russia, must flee the country when bloodthirsty gangsters massacre his wife and child. On the lam with his safety on the line, Cherenko escapes to Los Angeles, where he slips into a quiet, nonchalant life as an auto mechanic -- that is, until he is offered a massive amount of blood money to hunt down a kidnapper who abducted a young Russian heiress and to bring the girl back to the arms of her parents unscathed. Cherenko refuses -- until he discovers, by wild coincidence, that the kidnapper is the same Mafioso who rubbed out his next of kin. Packing heat, Cherenko does an about-face and hightails it to Russia to see that justice is served. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Russian Specialist

All Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for The Russian Specialist

  • Aug 26, 2009
    An awesome and sensational action-packed thrill-ride. It's hard-boiled, stylish, thrilling and well-crafted from its star. Dolph Lundgren is terrific, he delivers a great performance and crafts a great action film showing great promise as a director. A great piece of revenge cinema. It's wickedly cool and exhilarating from beginning to end. It truly is one of Lundgren's best films yet. It's explosive, exciting and adrenaline-pumping. It explodes with pulse-pounding action in intense doses. It's sharp, stunning, riveting and surprisingly emotionally effective. An nail-biting and powerful edge of your seat action-thriller that packs a wallop.
    Al S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 31, 2009
    Surprisingly good B action movie with poor man dolph doing would he does best! The acting is very good for this type of movie with some excellant action shoot outs.Dont get me wrong its is your grade B stuff and looks it too bujt dolph who directs this this does a descent job .Worth a look if you like these type of action movies because for a change this a very good stuff!
    Brian D Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2009
    <i>"Men know how to kill, women how to survive."</i><br/><br/> <b>Director:</b> Dolph Lungdren <b>Starring:</b> Dolph Lungdren, Ben Cross, Ivan Petrushinov, Olivia Lee <b>Running time:</b> 94 minutes <b>Country:</b> Germany, USA<br/><br/> First of all, this is the sort of film where I would obviously know what it's like. It is a real kick-ass action film but with a lame story that does remind me a lot of Taken and Shoot 'Em Up. To be perfectly honest, I was predicting this film to be a bit like Rambo IV because the outlooks of both of the posters look similar. The Mechanik is an absolutely ridiculous story but with the extremely intense and graphic action sequences that make it fun to watch. I would have rated this film a tiny bit higher but I personally think it has a lack of character development. I thought of Taken almost the same as The Mechanik. The blood was very realistic and with quite a lot of intense gore used as well. That is another reason why I was predicting this to be like Rambo IV.<br/><br/> I have never seen Dolph Lungdren in any film before until now. I find him the same as Sylvester Stallone: pretty lame actor but an actor with a load of fun entertainment. I prefer Stallone to Lungdren. I have actually become quite interested in watching some more Dolph Lungdren films including The Expendables in which both Stallone and Lungdren are appearing in together in 2010.<br/><br/> Dolph Lungdren directs this film almost precisely the same as Sylvester Stallone did in Rambo IV. Dolph makes his own character Nikolai Cherenko be like a modern times action hero which would make a decent franchise. The script was obviously lame like Rambo but, what the hell, it's fun. The Mechanik is a bad film but with good intense action so it's going to have to be middle rating. I have before more interested in intense action films more now after seeing The Mechanik.
    Samuel J Super Reviewer
  • Jan 31, 2009
    <i><b>William</b>: "What's your plan?" <b>Nikolai</b>: "Kill them all."</i> <p> Throughout the noughties and beyond, washed-up action stars have earned their paycheques by starring in low-budget direct-to-DVD action films, the majority of which are of a low standard. Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme are a couple of DTD stars that immediately spring to mind, and in addition to these names is Dolph Lundgren (<i>Universal Soldier, Showdown in Little Tokyo</i>). Despite his period in DTD prison, Dolph appears to have the potential to rise to star status once again. After demonstrating his directorial abilities with 2004's <i>The Defender</i>, Dolph capitalised on his strengths behind the camera for 2005's <i>The Mechanik</i> (also known by the generic and lousy title <i>The Russian Specialist</i>). Just by glancing at the DVD cover, it's easy to discern the sort of movie that <i>The Mechanik</i> is: an intense, fun, old-fashioned shoot-'em-up revenge flick, wherein a thin story gives way to a copious amount of action. With <i>The Mechanik</i>, Dolph has dived into his second directorial gig with guns fully loaded to deliver a thrilling, hardcore ride into conventional territory. <p> In the film, Dolph Lundgren stars as retired Russian Special Forces hitman Nikolai Cherenko who witnesses his family being slaughtered by Russian gangsters after a drug deal goes wrong. Subsequently, he illegally immigrates to the United States in order to commence a new life as a car mechanic that's free of violence and war. However, Nick is soon approached by a woman knowledgeable about his past who offers him a large sum of money to rescue her kidnapped daughter. Nick is initially reluctant to accept the job until he learns of the identity of the kidnapper: the same Russian crime boss who murdered his family years earlier. Nick wakes up the cold-blooded soldier inside him in order to settle the score. <p> From this point onwards, <i>The Mechanik</i> is merely a simple revenge saga. Dolph's Nikolai Cherenko - a stoic, wordless threat - is pitted against a cabal of unsavoury Russian gangsters, and several action sequences flow from this. The fact that Nick's objective is to rescue some hapless girl is beside the point - in actual fact, beyond a handful of brief dialogue exchanges, this relationship is fairly subdued. Like most similar action films, the girl's kidnapping is a means to an end - and in this case, that end is a surplus of dead Russian gangsters. Nothing deep is at play here; basically, it's just Dolph with a shotgun declaring "<i>It's on</i>". Needless to say, Cherenko is cut from the same cloth as the cold-blooded action heroes of the '80s such as Dutch Schaeffer, John Matrix, John Rambo, and Marion "Cobra" Cobretti. If you want a deep character study of a tortured hero reluctant to use firearms, watch <i>Batman Begins</i>. For a nourishing dose of über-macho shot-gunning, watch <i>The Mechanik</i>. <p> While action is the order of the day here, there are scenes within <i>The Mechanik</i> which focus on developing the characters, and this is a quality rarely seen in the genre. Meanwhile, Dolph's skill as an action director is palpable throughout; his direction is refreshingly blunt and hardcore during the exciting set-pieces. There are awesome, gory shootouts galore here, culminating with a satisfying, blood-soaked Western-style climax. Elia Cmiral's accompanying score is suitably intense and riveting, too; occasionally reminiscent of the composer's work on 1998's <i>Ronin</i>. However, Dolph's over-reliance on flashy cinematic techniques (most notably during the first half) is at times detrimental, with a bit too much slow motion and wacky colour saturation. It ultimately comes off as gimmicky (think Tony Scott meets John Woo). <i>The Mechanik</i> is flawed in other areas too. The characters are predominantly just shallow bullet fodder, the minuscule $5 million budget is relatively obvious from time to time, and the gaps between the action scenes occasionally suffer from sluggish pacing. The climax is too long, as well - it isn't chaotic enough and it outstays its welcome. <p> In spite of its flaws, <i>The Mechanik</i> is far better than one would expect. As far as I'm concerned, Dolph can continue churning out these types of action films if he wishes. With its decent script, stylish directing, above-average performances and unrestrained violence, <i>The Mechanik</i> supplies the best macho "<i>you killed my family, now I kill you</i>" experience in years. The movie may not entirely circumvent the action movie clichés, but Dolph is savvy enough to realise that nothing satisfies like a blood-soaked dosage of served-cold revenge yarn. It's baffling that Sony Pictures dumped this serviceable film into the direct-to-DVD realm while allowing horrific dirge like <i>Are We Done Yet?</i> and <i>Crossover</i> to pollute theatres across the globe. <i>The Mechanik</i> isn't a perfect movie or even a masterpiece of its genre, but this could have been Dolph's much-awaited theatrical comeback if it was given a bigger budget and a bit more attention.
    Cal ( Super Reviewer

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