Combustible Celluloid
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With: Vladimir Mashkov, Andrei Krasko, Maria Mironova, Sergei Oshkevich, Alexandre Samoilenko, Mikael Vasserbaum, Vladimir Golovin, Vladimir Goussav, Levani Uchaineshvili
Written by: Pavel Lungin, Aleksandr Borodyansky, Yuli Dubov, based on a novel by Yuli Dubov
Directed by: Pavel Lungin
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: Russian, with English subtitles
Running Time: 123
Date: 08/02/2002

Tycoon: A New Russian (2003)

2 Stars (out of 4)

The Big Ripoff

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Taking cues from Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Once Upon a Time in America and GoodFellas, this Russian mob film is, frankly, not tall enough to get on the ride with the big boys. Charismatic Platon (Vladimir Mashkov) invents a scheme that will allow him to, so to speak, borrow from Peter to pay Paul and gain during the transaction. He invites his three best friends to join him, but as their wealth and power grow their youthful trust begins to break apart. The picture also includes that creaky subplot (also in Scarface) in which Platon woos the most beautiful girl in the world and quickly loses interest. As in Citizen Kane, everything occurs in flashback after Platon's death. Tycoon takes place during the Gorbachev years, and director Pavel Lungin no doubt hoped some of that political juice would enhance his carbon-copy story.

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