Saturday, July 27, 2019

"Sergio and Sergei" - thumbs down

Sergio CM2CU
I tried really hard to like this movie. It has all the ingredients to have been better than good but it falls short of even mediocre.

Sergio and Sergei was released in 2017 and I first learned of it from Thomas K4SWL's blog. Amazon Prime Video made it available in the US this week and I couldn't wait to watch it. That's $3.99 and 90 minutes I'll never get back.

The movie is a fictionalized version of an event that happened to cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev in 1991 - he was sent up to the Mir space station by the Soviet Union and, while orbit for 10 months, the Soviet Union ceased to exist as did the funding to return Krikalev to Earth. During his time in orbit, Krikalev developed an on-the-air-relationship with Maggie Iaquinto VK3NQQ (SK).

Sergio and Sergei replaces Maggie with Sergio CM2CU, a Cuban professor of Marxism who has regular skeds with Peter W3PR in New York and Sergei U5MIR aboard the Mir.

The movie attempts to use comedy to make various points about Marxism and, as much as I
Sergei U5MIR aboard MIR
occasionally enjoy satire, the attempts in this movie come across as silly and amateurish, as if made by a group of 20-something college film students tasked with their first group assignment.

The acting is great - it's the sophomoric script and sequence of events that fail them. The clichés are numerous, overpowering and, after 20 minutes or so, hugely annoying.

My impression of the movie is that it tries to hard to do what it sets out to do and trips over itself in the process.

Other movies that use satire and spoof in good combination for a winning recipe are Strictly Ballroom and, much more recently, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Sergio and Sergei is nothing more than a movie that could have been great.

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