Film Review: Sputnik (2020)

  • Director – Egor Abramenko
  • Writers – Oleg Malovichko, Andrei Zolotarev
  • Stars – Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov

Review

When a Russian spacecraft comes back to earth, with two cosmonaunts aboard only Konstantin (Fyodorov) survives the re-entry but it is apparent that there was a stowaway on baord. An unconventional psychologist Tatiana (Akinshina) is brought in to see if she can unravel Konstantin’s mind and the secret that could kill them all.

Sputnik could have easily gone the way of many a science fiction film with a similar premise. It could’ve gone for shock, blood and gore (not that this is bad thing in anyway) but Sputnik goes for a more cerebral approach to the material, whilst still giving us some impressive and well earned gore. Written by Oleg Malovichko and Andrei Zolotarev it takes us through the paranoia of 1980s Russia, infusing that overall oppressive feeling, adding a military element and sprinkling it with some real human moments.

The film doesn’t have a huge budget but it still looks a billion dollars, whilst director Abramenko gets creative in getting around some issues that the budget could not cover. The creature is all CGI and it looks very good, all other effects seem practical which always is pleasing to see.

Akinshina is great as Tatiana the only person involved that sees the humanity of the situation and not the scientific value. Fyodorov gets to play Konstantin as a complex character or perhaps more complex than everyone around him expects him to be. A flawed man that tries so hard to cover those flaws so he is seen as heroic at the cost of everything else. These two have good chemistry and that helps give the ending a bit more emotional weight.

Sputnik isn’t a gore for shock value, silly nonsense sci-fi. It is measured, intelligent and very well made film. If that’s your bag, you should seek it out at your earliest possible convenience.

Sputnik is available in select cinemas, Digital and Cable VOD on August 14.

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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