Hooked – Siff 2011 Movie Review

Hooked [  Russia (Russian), 2010, 132 minutes ]
Director: Pavel Sanayev
Principal Cast: Sergey Chirkov, Marina Petrenko, Pavel Priluchnyy, Evgeniy Kharlanov, Tikhon Zhiznevskiy, Nodar Siradze
See it: May 22, 30, June 3, 2011 at SIFF

Hooked is a fast paced Russian film where skilled gamers have their video game skills transferred into the real world. They band together and work for a guy with a blimp. Bad guys are always scarier with blimps and this movie has some good blimp scenes. There are some twists and turns and a bunch of backstabbing to keep it interesting. The movie is overall too long and needed some additional editing. There are two sex scenes that don’t fit and the audience roared of laughter. The subtitles are hard to read and frequently wrong / missing / or in the wrong spot.

Overall Entertainment / Enjoyment: B/B-
This movie was entertaining and enjoyable, but it had about 40 minutes of extraneous scenes coupled with subtitle problems. This led to a headache, which sucked out a bulk of my love toward the end. By subtitle problems, I mean they were fuzzy and blinking at the beginning in particular.

Siff Provided Synopsis:
Six college students have turned their video game skills into a profitable enterprise, winning enough cash to pay for next semester’s tuition and a copy of a new game from the competition’s sponsor which fries their hard drives—gifting each gamer with their specialized virtual gaming skills. As the gamers test their new marksmanship, driving, and street fighting skills in the real world, one of them lands in trouble with a group of gangsters, and his friends must come together to save him for real. Once the situation becomes less about killing frags (synthetic computer drones), and more about physically and psychologically washing the blood off their hands, the weight of Hookedsurfaces. Soon the young gamers, now feeling the pull of adrenaline, find themselves recruited into an army run by a billionaire in a zeppelin-like lair who manipulates his unstoppable commandos to his benefit, pitting them against his enemies—and each other. Video gamers and action film enthusiasts will be blown away as director Pavel Sanayev takes the plot beyond a game adaptation by immersing viewers into the minds and lives of people who play video games. Best of all, Hooked maintains its sharp characterizations throughout, grounding the fantastical situation in a psychological reality that twists and turns toward its breathtaking conclusion. Recommended for Ages 15+ (contains strong action violence and brief sensuality).


Provided Film Synopsis

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