Igor Grom vs. Doctor Plague, by Oleg Trofim, begins with a chase. A spectacular and with all the thunderous vivacity of an action movie to use. But very soon it becomes clear that the long sequence is not an introduction, a prologue or a way to give the Netflix movie an identity.
In reality, this tour of splendid St. Petersburg is a linear presentation of its central character. And one that also seems to be confused with the intention of the film to pay tribute to the essence of its plot. The Igor Grom by Tikhon Zhiznevsky He has all the presence and the good work to carry on his shoulders whatever will come next.
Or that’s what the plot needs to prove, as it stumbles through all the clichés of the action genre. The singular thing is that Igor Grom against Doctor Plague travels in two different directions. As the camera follows Grom to show his heroic, savage, and undoubtedly blunt way of enforcing the law, the script meditates on what it hides.
And he does it in parallel, in what seems like a double talk about good and evil that Igor Grom against Doctor Plague does not fully elaborate. Grom, who represents law and a strong sense of order, is actually a hero without too many edges. There’s something confusing about this effortless display of images built to be explicitly eye-catching without much to say.
The clean and radiant execution could pass for a more complex message were it not for Igor Grom vs. Plague Doctor not intending to be. Based on the comic of the same name written by Artem Gabrelyanov and Evgeniy Fedotov, Netflix movie lacks sense of purpose. And he makes it clear very soon. In the same way as its paper version, Oleg Trofim create a collection of stunning images. But the message in tow – order, the weight of justice and the search for a higher moral good – seems to have faded amid the spectacularity.
For his first half hour, Igor Grom vs. Plague Doctor made it clear that despite his exotic and quirky air, his premise is utilitarian. Or at least it lacks the real depth to be anything other than a frenzied ride into something more elaborate. The Netflix movie is strongly intended to entertain and it does. But at the cost of what could be a much bigger, more interesting, or at least a little deeper premise.
‘Igor Grom vs. Plague Doctor‘, a problematic scenario
07-12-2021 Will there be a sequel to Igor Grom against Plague Doctor, the Russian film that sweeps Netflix ?. Igor Grom vs. Plague Doctor, the adaptation of Bubble Comics’ Russian action and intrigue comic, has been a huge success after its arrival on Netflix. NETFLIX CULTURE SOCIETY
Igor Grom vs. Doctor Plague had a complicated production that made her go through all kinds of problems before hitting Netflix. The adaptation was complicated and much more when the director had to face the dilemma of translation for a wider market.
Igor Grom vs. Plague Doctor is a Russian product that bases its identity on being one. And indeed, there is an array of resources to celebrate a certain cultural symbology that becomes apparent as the film progresses. So the first stumbling block was fighting to keep English as the original language.
It may seem like a small detail, but Major Grom is the quintessential Russian hero. At the forefront of aggressive adventure and a curiously youthful rebellion, he is the latest incarnation of a traditional character type in the country.
So the decision to keep Russian and add subtitles was unavoidable. And also, the ability of the Netflix movie to address other markets in addition to streaming platforms diminished. The decision influenced its final assembly, which had to be adapted to a much more western and less local rhythm. However, Igor Grom against Doctor Plague retains much of his identity from his cultural origin.
Perhaps that is why this large-scale adaptation of a convoluted story has something confusing for an audience. unfamiliar with country metaphors. With his serious and measured air, Grom is a kind of diminutive version of power as it is conceived in Russia.
The great Russian version of the hero and the murderer
Grom’s reputation as an infallible cop precedes him and the Netflix movie takes it upon himself to emphasize this at every possible opportunity. In the comic, the insistence on the character of his main character contextualizes his adventure. In the film he has a curious accent on his softest points. Like the good rogue he ends up being, Grom uses questionable methods.
But while in any American plot that would make the character an outcast, in his Russian version he is a hero to fear. And indeed it is that vision of heroism and power that conspires to make the premise of the film seem ambiguous.
On the one hand, the original version emerges from time to time. Especially when Grom must take over his most important role involving a serial killer dressed as a famous plague doctor mask. The stranger begins to impart a twisted form of justice and Grom takes over with his usual demeanor.
On the other hand, he must find a way to prevent Grom’s methods from catching up with his nemesis. And it is then, when Igor Grom against Doctor Plague suffers with the double talk that the efforts of its director cannot solve.
For its second half, the film seems to make real efforts to unify its tone and rhythm. Doing so without losing sight of its identity as an action movie and its search for a goal. There are attempts to pose a sneaky buddy movie, by showing how the stoic Grom carries an unwanted companion.
But between the two there is not enough chemistry to solve the moments even in the search for Doctor Plague. Much less as the script seems to lose control of its story and turn into a series of messy and eye-catching scenes.
In the end, Igor Grom versus Plague Doctor is many things at once without being successful in any of them. From action, to a certain humor dosed to a true race against the clock against an ingenious assassin, the film opens plot threads without closing any. Perhaps, the softest point of this accelerated journey through the new Russian action cinema.