An overrated mediocrity
5 July 2001
The much-praised "Banditskij Peterburg" is yet another unoriginal suspense series produced in Russia. The plot is recognizable, and characters lack depth. There is an all-too-visible line separating the antagonists from the protagonists. The ending is also fairly predictable. And, unlike "Menty", an earlier series, "Banditskij Peterburg" completely lacks interesting dialogue or characters. The acting is much weaker, as well, especially the Corleone figure of the Antibiotic, who fails dismally to portray a cruel, deceitful, and, moreover, all-powerful mafia kingpin. Also ridiculous is Lavrov as a thief (a man who always played Communist party bosses in films!). The cameos by two of Russia's greatest actors, Basilashvili and Jigarkhanian, are tasteless and pathetic. Jigarkhanian looks totally rdiculous and unconvincing as a mafia kingpin, even more ridiculous than the antibiotic. Also, the authors clearly went beyond good taste with unnecessary nude scenes. Plot holes are abundant, as well. At any rate, if you are really after a good Russian crime TV series, see "Menty" or "Ubojnaya Sila". "Banditskij Peterburg" is a waste of time compared to these.
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