This is the tale of some Russian teens who like to play video games (and paintball). The youngsters enter a cyber game tournament and do so well that they’re rewarded with complimentary copies of a new video game…which melts their home computers BUT also gives them superhuman abilities in fighting, driving and shooting. Without hesitation, the boys and girl go on a rampage, assaulting and killing a squad of 30 heavily armed commandos with only paintball guns, all to save one of their friends who is about to be burned to death by a gang of car thieves.

Then, this big airship appears from out of the clouds, lands, inducts the kids into a super secret crime fighting organization, and takes off again. On their first assignment working for S.H.I.E.L.D. (I don’t remember what the organization is really called), the kids are sent to assassinate one of their employer’s competitors in the fuel cell business. Apparently the secret organization they work for isn’t good after all, they’re just a bunch of capitalists whose real goal is to corner the market on palladium…which they’re planning to use in building hydrogen fuel cells that will enable cars to get 1000 kilometers per gallon. This is when the gamers’ morals start to kick in and the kids begin taking sides (good vs. evil).

When the teens are later sent to hijack and blowup a Turkish ship that’s trying to escape with the remaining hundred copies of the video game which turned them all into super humans in the first place, the story starts to get a little silly.

I salute the writers of this screenplay–There is no hesitation from the characters to shoot and kill anything that moves (even busloads of innocent bystanders aren’t safe). The two romantic encounters of this film are quite funny and had the audience laughing. I didn’t think the acting was particularly good, but the actors put a lot of energy into their roles.

Reasons to see this movie:

  • It’s so bad that it’s good?
  • You often fantasize of leveraging your gamer skills to become a real life mercenary.

Venue: Seattle International Film Festival, 2011
Language: Russian w/really bad subtitles
Genre: Action, Sci-fi, Romance