20th Jul2018

‘Siberia’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Boris Gulyarin, Ashley St. George, Elliot Lazar, Veronica Ferres, Pasha D. Lychnikoff, Rafael Petardi, Taran Vitt, James Gracie, Ana Ularu, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Kis Yurij, Molly Ringwald | Written by Stephen Hamel, Scott B. Smith | Directed by Matthew Ross


Siberia tells the story of an American diamond merchant (Reeves), who travels to Russia to sell rare blue diamonds of questionable origin. As the deal begins to collapse he falls into an obsessive and passionate relationship with a Russian cafe owner (Ularu) in a small Siberian town Mirny. As their relationship builds, so does the treacherous world of the diamond trade from which he is unable to extricate himself.

Matthew Ross’ thriller Siberia follows the straight-laced diamond trader Lucas Hill, played by Keanu Reeves, who, while on his latest deal runs into a vast host of questionable predicaments and a dark morally corrupted path of righteousness, albeit condensed into a pandering slow pace and tonal indecisiveness, that unfortunately plagues what is actually an effective and intriguing thriller.

Reeves, to his credit, is not simply replicating his superman characters of past with John Wick and Neo. He actively plays against said characters with a role that stretches his range, and while he’s not dodging bullets and kung-fu, he is walking on the tight-rope and vanquish of real-world issues in emotional and morally complex scenarios of marriage and corruptable complicit behaviour. He works well with what he has, with a script that just wants to sail the flat tranquil ocean and not battle any thunderous storms in its wake, made equally as frustrating when the film copes relatively well in moments of trauma on screen, but unfortunately never explores said complex trauma to a fulling end that feels neither meaningful or truly impactful.

Siberia‘s biggest and most annoying aspect is arguably both the pacing and tedious subplots. The latter evokes such a nonconsequential aspect to the overall proceedings and the final product, most notably the character played by Molly Ringwald that verges on a possible ten-second visible cameo that’s redundant, to say the least. Ross, thankfully, does choose to go rather left-field to what you would automatically expect from the genre, regarding the films final act, particularly the climax of the picture, which regarding the context of plot does feel the correct way to end the picture, but the manner of events are so incredibly abrupt and while somewhat intense, lacks a final punch.

Siberia is in US cinemas now.


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