Natalia Romanycheva in 'Alien Girl.' (Paladin )
From its title, "Alien Girl" seems to promise some kind of playful intergalactic adventure. That, it is not. Rather the film is a grim, artless Russian-made gangster picture that is neither stylish nor fun, the debut feature by director Anton Bormatov adapted by Sergey Sokolyuk from a graphic novel by criminal-turned-blogger Vladimir Nesterenko.
When a low-level Ukrainian criminal is captured by the police, his higher-ups send a team to Prague to bring back his sister (Natalia Romanycheva) for leverage to keep him quiet. Along the way she reveals herself to be a bona-fide movie-style tough chick, leading dimwits around by their libidos before finishing them off with a gun. From this movie one would gather that everyone in Eastern Europe is either a gangster, pimp, peasant farmer, junkie, hooker, government functionary or some combination thereof.
Anyone looking to actually learn something about the culture and workings of the Russian mob in the post-Soviet era would be better served watching David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises," a film made by a Canadian and set in England. Instead, Bormatov has created something that neither satisfies the genre jones for kicks nor the demands of a more realistic movie that might give the viewer some genuine insight into its world.
"Alien Girl" explains its title late in the film with a sad, rather random invocation of the film "Alien," and the movie itself works along the same lines -- unformed, not thought-through and dislikably listless.
"Alien Girl." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes. At Laemmle's Sunset 5.