Siberia is a romantic crime thriller directed by Matthew Ross, who also wrote and directed the 2016 film, Frank and Lola.

Keanu Reeves stars as American diamond trader Lucas Hill, who after his partner Pyotr (played by Boris Gulyarin) disappears in the midst of a deal in Russia, leaves Hill in a dangerous situation.

When the film opens, your mind will instantly think of John Wick; the suit, the house, the way the scene is shot all seem to deliberately reference Reeves’ more popular work. Throughout the film this direction constantly appears to be trying to make you think of Reeves’ turn as the ruthless assassin – however, this is to the movie’s detriment.

The plot has a different tone to John Wick and is of a completely different genre, so repeatedly calling back to a different film, misleads the audience. This intriguing mystery story line however takes a back seat, to a romantic plot as Hill takes a plane across country to find his lost partner. Along the way, circumstances lead Hill into the path of the Russian café owner Katya, played by Ana Ularu, with whom he starts a passionate, extra-marital affair.

As the film continues, the story loses any momentum it has been building, with the character of Katya and her contribution to the story one of my major issues with the plot. This is not due to the performance of Ularu, as I feel she does the best with what she is given. The character of Katya seems to be a weird mixture of marriage counsellor and sexual object. 80% of her character is that she wants to have sex with Hill, which seems her main motivation to initiate the relationship in the first place.

The two-dimensionality of the characters, to service a weak romance plot is very rushed and shallow, taking place over what the movie implies is close to a week. This may be to signify that the character of Hill is meant to be an emotionless, distant loner, emphasised by the fact that his wife, Gabby Hill, played sparingly by Molly Ringwald, only appears twice in the movie. By the end of the movie the relationship between Hill and Katya is unconvincing, past anything sexual with moments of actual intimacy, seeming rushed and unearned.

In the end, the storyline is bogged down, initially by the inability to differentiate between a thriller, a romance and a mystery. Each plot tries to take the central role which culminates in an unexplained mess.

When the climax of the film does eventually arrive, there remains too many unanswered questions, leaving the viewer in a state of disappointment and confusion. Forgettable fare, Siberia is not a film I would consider watching again.

Movie Review: Siberia
2.0Overall Score
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