Siberia (2018)

A man goes missing and his diamond business partner goes looking for him in Siberia. While there he meets a woman that changes everything for him.

This thriller meets romance meets crime film is directed by Matthew Ross and written by Scott B. Smith based on a story by Stephen Hamel. The film follows the lead of Lucas Hill as he leaves him bland life in the US to go find his business partner who seems to have disappeared on his way to a major diamond deal. Once there and looking for clues, he meets Katya who turns his life upside down and shows him what love it all about. The film takes all of this and blends it into a fairly bland thriller-crime film-romance. The film has a lot of good ideas but the way they presented and brought together just doesn’t catch any kind of fire. Yes, it all gels, but it is not all that exciting. Kudos must go where kudos are due though, as opposed to most recent, and not so recent movies, one of the main sex scenes, the one where the two characters really connect is not the usual male-centric sex scene where everything is about the male lead, but it’s most definitely female-centric with the lady getting the attention and the viewer getting a few things not often seen on screen outside for a mainstream type film. This was an interesting surprise and something that feels like it should be in more films when it comes to scenes of this type.

The cast for Siberia is led by Keanu Reeves as Lucas Hill, giving a good performance but not as interesting as his last few performances. Something feels like it’s missing and it’s hard to tell what is due to script, directing, or acting choices. Playing against him as his love interest and the woman who changes everything for Lucas is Ana Ularu as Katya. She plays her strong yet vulnerable at times, giving her character dimension and interest. She quickly becomes the magnetic pull to the screen and the story. Playing the lead antagonist in terms of screen time is actor Pasha D. Lychnikoff as Boris Volkov, playing him as we have seen him do before, a foreign baddie with an accent, some odd ideas, and an attitude. It feels a bit like déjà vu coming from him but it still works. Giving possibly one of the best performances of the film is Dmitry Chepotvetsky as Ivan, Katya’s brother and a man who is quite different as the film advances than he seems at first. The cast all do well to different levels, but most of them seem a bit off at times, as if there was something unclear about the direction of the story.

Siberia’s cinematography by Eric Koretz is soft and pretty on a lot of the scenes, giving the film more of a romance vibe than a thriller vibe, which while looking good creates a style that does not necessarily always fit. Adjustments are done to go with the scenes being shot but overall, something feels the film’s look doesn’t match the atmosphere it wants to bring across.

Siberia is an ok film which feels lost in what genre or sub-genre it wants to be. Mixing these can work but has to be done careful for it to work. Here it feels like a mish mash of genres and something about the style, from the poster to the way the story develops to the way everything is acted, is more romance than thriller, yet the story itself and its main points are all thriller/crime film. This means that the film ends up feeling odd and not quick centered. Reeves is decent as he’s been seemingly unable to do badly in the last decade with Ana Ularu shining, the two of them are not quite enough to make this a truly exciting film.