Major Grom: Plague Doctor (2021) Netflix Review

Director: Oleg Trofim

Writers: Vladimir Besedin, Evgeny Eronin, Artyom Gabrelyanov

Stars: Tikhon Zhiznevskiy, Lyubov Aksyonova, Sergei Goroshko

RATING: 2.5 Stars

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Police Major Igor Grom is known throughout St. Petersburg for his penetrative character and irreconcilable attitude towards criminals of all stripes. But everything changes dramatically with the appearance of a person in the mask of the Plague Doctor. Having declared that his city is “sick with the plague of lawlessness”, he takes up “treatment”, killing people who, at one time, escaped punishment with the help of money and high status in society. Society is agitated. The police officers are powerless. For the first time, Igor faces difficulties in the investigation, the outcome of which may determine the fate of the whole city. – From IMDB

If you have read more than one or two comic books, or seen more than a handful of movies, then you are probably going to have the entire plot figured out in the first forty minutes of the film, meaning that you are left with another hour and a half of film before the characters catch up with you. It’s always a let down when a mystery isn’t really a mystery. When you as the audience knows what’s happening, and you are just watching all the other characters try and figure it out.

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The identity of the ‘Plague Doctor’ is revealed really early on, literally during his second or third appearance on screen. He literally takes his mask of and shows the audience his face. There ends the biggest mystery of the whole film. They really could have prolonged that process, given us fake leads, and multiple suspects. But no.

I did really love the style and the writing in the film though. It was funny enough to get a few good chuckles in there, even if some of the jokes don’t always translate well into English. The action and stunts, particularly during the opening sequence are completely crazy. Shot really well, and edited excellently, it is the action that I stuck around for rather than anything else. Grom himself is an interesting enough character, but he is someone that we have seen a hundred times before in a hundred different detective stories, and it is unlikely anything about him will make an impact on me, I will hardly remember him in a week or so.

Nothing to write home about therefore. Decent enough if you are struggling for something to watch and like a good action film, but it won’t stick with you.

‘Major Grom: Plague Doctor’ is streaming now on Netflix

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