Paragraph 78 (2007) Poster

(2007)

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3/10
Not as good as I have expected
Barvinok28 February 2007
The two major disappointments when I finished watching this movie in the theater, was the plot background and the fact that it is split in two parts. Well, I understand the marketing principles and why not intrigue viewers enough to encourage them to go to the second part, but to me, it is a bit unfair. Like you go in the restaurant only to find an appetizer and to be told that other dishes will be available few days later.

The plot background is far worse than just non-original. A secret underground lab, a disaster in the form of deadly virus turning everyone there into zombies (if not killing), a group of highly professional SWAT-like heroes sent to investigate, an unwelcome member of the group, behaving strangely and suspicious, a female member who does not have any femininity at all, etc -- all possible clichés of that genre are undoubtedly here. Too strong resemblance to both of "Resident Evil"s, strong resemblance to "Doom", "Phantom Force", "Dragon Fighter", "Alien 2" isn't just annoying, but you can actually predict what would happen in next few minutes.

The special effects is nothing special. In 21st century, it's unlikely to impress viewers with the zombie jumping on walls like Spiderman; the only hope that this hole will be filled with the second part of the movie.

The bright side is a character personalities and a lots of humor, somewhat specific to the ex-USSR reality; like the military facility operator surfing the Internet in MSIE right on the control board of high-tech military radar or something; like digging the rare metals out of outdated electronic equipment in the middle of the mission, etc. Not only almost all characters try to mock and sometimes annoy each other with every single sentence, they actually succeed, and a classic love triangle helps a lot.

I'll give this movie 3 out of 10 for characters and humor, hoping that the rest of "what I think should be in the good movie" will be included in the second part.
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5/10
Less Action than you'd expect
kosmasp28 June 2010
I watched the 2 hrs and 10 minute DVD version, which should be something like the Directors Cut of the movie. Since it was released also as two parts in Russia (but without success and many critics), the German distributor thought it would be best to release only one movie. The camera work looks good. I can't say too much about the audio though, because the German DVD had the Russian language in Stereo!! Some might say, I should be happy that they included the original audio ... and subtitles (which are MIA when it comes to the deleted scenes on the disc here!!).

The movie has lesser action that I had thought it would have. It has interesting (if flawed and clichéd) characters, that could have had more screen time or nicer setups. The action scenes (sparely used as I said) are nicely shot and as you can read here too, are inspired by Gan Kata (see Equilibrium for that). Especially one scene with pistols/guns (I'm not an expert, so I can't say what weapon manufacturer they are from) ...

One of the main problems is, that the movie tries to over-complicate a few things (relationships) and sadly does not succeed with it. Still if you have the patience, you might like this.
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1/10
Total crap....
eksellentz8 May 2007
After seeing Night Watch & Day Watch, Volkodav and others masterpieces of modern Russian action oriented cinema I was quite disappointed with this flick. Movie was very well presented with a brilliant PR over the net and other news medias, but the movie was a total disaster.

Part 1 didn't offer anything. But a promise of more and better action story was given for the film 2.

After watching the second one the disappointment was complete. Acting wasn't good, storyline non-existent. Good filmed fighting scenes, but that's it....

The movie didn't have anything to offer and watching is a total waste of time...
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10/10
Bada$$ Russian futuristic action film
cherylewilliams20522 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Kicka$$ Russian Spetsnaz team in this entertaining action thriller. Things fall apart within the team just as they engage in their most dangerous mission, to explore an underground arctic research facility from which all communication has ceased. SPOILERS: They find that a virus has rendered the few survivors zombified. Is the team now infected? If so, what are their options? Plot has strong elements of a lovers' triangle between the two male leaders and the sole woman of the band, played by the famous Russian singer Slava. I would say that the plot even has the trope of what Romance readers call 'reverse harem' where a lone woman is showered with emotional support (and love by some) by an exclusive group of men as they are all thrown into close quarters by the dynamics of the mission. Testosterone flies in this film and not just on the part of the men. I saw this film on Amazon Prime's International streaming channel Russian Kino 1000, in Russian with no English subtitles. On You Tube, dubbed versions are available in French and German languages. I'm hoping a version with English subtitles or even English dubbing will go up for streaming soon.
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8/10
One of the more true to life military SpecOps movies
spam-917-21566323 August 2017
This review contains no spoilers, don't worry.

I have to say I was positively surprised by this movie. The dialogues fit the bullsh*ttery among members of a fleshed-in military team. Quite entertainingly so actually, if you have the sense of humor for it. I know it isn't everybodys taste. But then again, what do civilians know about that sort of life, let alone friendship or fellowship/camaraderie.

Which explains why other reviewers are so harsh to this movie. They're all used to Michael Bay style nonstop-explosions and fast-paced action without any deeper thought processes. This movie does feature some bang but not exaggeratedly so. People are just spoiled nowadays.

I for my part enjoyed this flick a lot. I understand the plot has some sort of Ukrainian or Russian special unit in the center of it and they do play their roles pretty good. I didn't feel it was over-the-top or cliché. It is how it is. Soldiers are just human and in order to cope with the things they see or have to do they joke around more than other people. I don't see how that can be seen as cliché, it truly is like that in real military/special forces.

The characters had enough development which makes this flick a rare gem. You could almost compare this movie with Ridley Scotts 'Alien' (1979). Not really plot-wise but the overall structure and character development. The main characters are well developed and the side characters have enough development and background to be able to sympathize with and understand them. The acting is very good and the story is entertaining and has no yawn moments.

The only reason why this movie doesn't deserve nine or ten stars is because it misses a better developed, deeper manifested threat. That statement is not entirely true, but I can't say any more without spoiling the movie. Nonetheless this is one of the better SpecOps movies I've seen (and I've seen many) and I'd recommend it to people who enjoy crunchy one-liners and cheeky humor.

If you like the sarcasm and humor of the main character in Lockout (2012) you might enjoy this movie just as much. But it's nothing for the spoiled ones who want nothing but special effects all day, everyday, no matter if it makes sense or not. This movie keeps it real. And I am really glad it does because lately Hollywood has become so ridiculous that it's not even enjoyable.
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8/10
Could have been better but still an awesome movie
todesangelkill20 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I have spent intense 2 hours watching this stuff. I know how everyone hates it when there's too much humane in a blockbuster, but the whole character building is one of the trademarks of a good Russian movie. I grew up watching Russian military movies thanks to my father and to tell you honestly this whole movie just breaks my camaraderie meter. The plot could have been more original, but let's be honest the fighting scenes are god damn awesome, the characters are well written, the choice of casting (I knew each one of these actors from TV films or series or movies since I was a small girl) is simply tremendous. I felt like throwing things and crying over the whole Lyuba/Spam send scene, only Russian movies can make you feel completely attached to a character even if the character is a tremendous a-hole. The whole Resident Evil reference if anything is maybe over-exploited, but I wouldn't have it any other way. So, this movie is awesome, but I don't suggest it if you are not the kind of person who likes to know the background of characters and military thematic.
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4/10
Clicherama
Mit_pl7 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Very much like some of the other viewers I had higher expectations from this movie.

The plot is not exactly what you would call original, whereas (sadly) it is a pretty common thing in contemporary cinema, I have to say that this film is absolutely packed with clichés.

A secret lab in the middle of nowhere, a deadly virus on the loose, a special group of tough guys (plus one tough chick and a not so tough doctor) send in to investigate....

I am not going to list all of the clichés in the movie, it would be a waste of time. I would like to point out a very big similarity in the film to a book called The Invincible by Stanisław Lem. The virus which got out of control in the lab has very similar symptoms to the one mentioned in the book (although I am not 100% if it was a virus at the moment). People loosing their humanity, becoming animals, being able to follow only their basic instincts - same thing happened in the book. Is it a copy? I am not sure, it is questionable, however, the tooth marks found on a bar of soap (exact same thing described in the book) depicted in the movie make me 99% sure that this motive has been copied. Talking about copies, one of the gunfight scenes has been copied from equilibrium.

You've got your clichés and your copies, and you've also got you're sort of die hard, how many times can I kick you in the face with a solider boot before you start bleeding scenes. Not to forget cutting out a new door in a concrete wall of an underground lab with a mini gun and shooting at a bulletproof glass door and not getting killed by the ricochets.

The movie is very foreseeable, the directing is a little pretentious, acting mediocre - at most. Despite of the facts mentioned above, it is fun to watch on a how not to make a movie basis. Just one more thing, be sure to have the two parts before watching, because the first one is a very long intro.
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