Brother 2

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For other uses, see Brat (disambiguation).
Brother 2
Brother2.jpg
U.S. theatrical release poster
Directed by Aleksei Balabanov
Produced by Sergei Selyanov
Written by Aleksei Balabanov
Starring Sergei Bodrov, Jr.
Viktor Sukhorukov
Distributed by STV Film Company
Release dates 2000
Running time 122 min.
Country Russian Federation
United States
Language Russian, English, Ukrainian
Budget US$1,500,000
Box office $1,080,000

Brother 2 (Russian: Брат 2, translit. Brat 2) a 2000 Russian film, and, in name, a sequel to 1997's Russian crime thriller Brother. The 'Russian-made gangster flick'[1] was set about a year after the events that occurred in the first film. The movie included the frequent use of 12 handguns, two sub-machine guns, two assault rifles, three machine guns and two types of stick grenade.

‘Our answer to James Bond and other "anti-Soviet Cinema",’ “Brother 2” was ‘ideological...playing ‘to the fears of its national audience...the first manifestation of Russia’s new snobbery towards the US,’ the Itogi weekly’s reviewer wrote. Its central character was ‘a) cute and b) clever...war creates a special kind of childish killers...The search for national identity...only leads to unwarranted xenophobia.'[2]

Plot[edit]

The main hero, Danila Bagrov (Sergey Bodrov Jr.), comes to Moscow because he wants to study medicine and become a doctor. He goes to the building of TV6-MOSCOW, a local Russian TV channel, where he has been invited to appear on a Russian TV show, "In the world of people." On the show, Danila is interviewed along with his former comrades Ilya Setevoy (Kirill Pirogov) and Konstantin Gromov (Alexander Dyachenko). Danila's mother and his older brother Viktor (Viktor Sukhorukov), ex-gangster and now a policeman, see the TV-Show on their TV. Ms. Bagrova, the mother of Viktor and Danila, is unhappy with Viktor because he is drinking vodka all the time and is unable to help her. She mentions to him that his brother is on TV in Moscow, and that Viktor should drive to him and get a real job. She tells him that he should ask his brother for help. But Viktor just screws his brother, telling that his mother will be fine.

Meanwhile, Danila and his comrades are celebrating their meeting in a public bathhouse. Konstantin uses the meeting to tell his friends about his twin brother Dmitry, who is a professional hockey player in the United States. According to Konstantin, his brother once played for his home club the Kyiv Falcons before he was invited to play in the NHL and immigrated to the United States to play for the Chicago Black Hawks. Later he was signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins and from that moment he started to have trouble and difficulties with the Ukrainian mafia, who have been threatening and pressuring him. Dmitry (also portrayed by Alexander Dyachenko) was desperate and addressed the Chicago businessman Richard Mennis (Gary Houston) for help and protection. Mennis took Dmitry under a contract and granted him protection. From that moment things were going a little bit better, because the Ukrainian mafia left him alone at once. But later, Dmitry realized that he was trapped. He became an indentured servant to the mighty Chicago kingpin, Mennis, who took all of his money away from him and paid him peanuts. He trusted Mennis' lawyers and undersigned the contract even though he could not understand English at the time, thinking that his lawyers had his interests in mind. He went back to the Ukrainians, but it was too late, because Mennis tricked them all. As a result, it became impossible for Dmitry to get the money he earned. At the end Konstantin says that Mennis has come to Moscow and that he will use his visit to talk with him about his brother. The next day, Konstantin is at his job place, the Nikolaevsky Bank, where he works as a security chief. He waits for his boss, the bank owner Valentin Belkin (Sergey Makovetsky), who is also a Russian kingpin. After he arrives, Konstantin salutes him and pleads to talk with Mennis about his brother's situation. Belkin agrees and while having a business talk with Mennis, his American business partner, he asks about Konstantin's brother Dmitry. Mennis only says that everything is in order with him. Both farewell from each other and after Mennis gets brought to the hotel, Belkin calls Konstantin to himself to tell him that everything is alright. A few minutes later, Konstantin tells Ilya the good news. They arrange a meeting at the Metropol Hotel. Ilya, who is working as a museum guard in Red Square, calls Danila on the phone and tells him that he should come to the hotel at six o'clock. Danila answers that he will be there after he picks up Konstantin from his apartment. But as Danila arrives at his apartment, he finds his friend dead. He takes his money and his address book before calling the police, who quickly arrive and search the apartment. Danila gets arrested and later kept in a local Moscow isolator prison because the local police commissioner suspects him to have murdered his friend. After the interrogation the commissioner sets Danila free, because he has nothing against him in the hand. Danila meets Ilya and both drive to the museum on the Red Square where they find some basic information about Belkin. Ilya contacts his old friend, "Fascist," and tells him that he and Danila need trophy guns from the Great Patriotic War. Just as Ilya arranges the meeting with Fascist, Viktor, who arrived in Moscow by train a few hours prior, meets up with them. Danila and Ilya visit Fascist, who has a huge collection of German and Soviet weapons from the Great Patriotic War-Era in his cellar and take a German MP40 submachine gun with them, together with some German M24 "stick" grenades. After leaving Fascist, they return to the museum and take a Russian-type Maxim machine gun with them together with its ammunition belt and belt container. They then buy business suits in an upscale Moscow magazine while Ilya steals a car for them. After a few minutes, they drive to the grammar school, where Belkin's son Fedya is studying. Danila enters the building with a big black duffel bag. He sees the show, which is dedicated to the "Student's Day," and afterwards, he introduces himself to Belkin's son Fedya as his new Russian teacher. Later he meets Belkin personally and asks to speak with him in the teacher's room. In the teacher's room, Danila holds Belkin at gunpoint with his MP40, pressing him for information about Mennis, because he knows that Belkin ordered Konstantin's murder. After getting the information he needs, Danila leaves the room, allowing Belkin to live. Danila leaves the school building and disappears with Ilya and Viktor. Belkin is angry, and orders his people to hunt down the protagonists and kill them. A car chase ensues, with Belkin's men in pursuit of Danila and Viktor, who survive and are able to kill Belkin's men with the Maxim machine gun. Using a grenade he got from Fascist, Danila destroys the evidence and the stolen car. Danila and Viktor meet Ilya in a cafe where another friend of his hands over the passports, the flight ticket, and hotel invitations, and tells them what they have to say at US customs. The next day, Danila and Viktor get on their respective planes and fly to the US. Viktor arrives in Chicago and rents a hotel. Because Belkin's men in Chicago are on the lookout for Danila, Danila flies to New York instead and takes a cab, which brings him from the JFK Airport to Brighton Beach, a large Russian-Jewish community, where Danila meets an old Jewish car salesman who introduces himself as "Kuybishev". He sells an old, beat-up car to Danila, which Kuybishev claims will be able to bring Danila to Chicago, but the car soon breaks down. Danila is forced to hitchhike, where he is given a lift by an amiable American trucker named Ben Johnson (Ray Toler). They soon become friends, despite the language barrier. While travelling with Ben in the outskirts of Chicago, he meets a Russian prostitute named Marilyn working the street. Though not interested in sex, he tries to give her some money, but the charity is quickly snatched up by her pimp.

Arriving in Chicago, Danila is forced to make his own way. Speaking hardly any English, he needs a Russian translator. He seeks out Marilyn, a native Russian who has lived in America for many years, and tries to convince her to leave her abusive pimp. Marilyn is reluctant to go with him but agrees to arrange a deal with an arms dealer. Danila shoots the dealer with an improvised firearm, steals the weapons, and flees with Marilyn. Soon, Black Jack and his goons hunt them down, seeking retribution, but Danila guns them all down, leaving Marilyn no choice but to go with him. They visit a club in Chicago called "Metro Club", where Danila walks through the basement, shooting all of Mennis' collaborators. Meanwhile, Viktor visits the Ukrainian district in Chicago. There, he goes to the Lviv Restaurant and kills the entire Ukrainian mafia in Chicago. (Belkin sent the Ukrainians a photo of him and ordered his elimination, but didn't know that he's dealing with a smart and professional assassin.) Danila and Marilyn, who had met up with Viktor earlier at night on Lake Michigan witness him getting arrested after a standoff with the Chicago police. After this event both reach the bureau building in which Mennis works. (Belkin has called Mennis before and warned him about a Russian assassin who would come for him. He sent Viktor's photo introducing him as the asassin:). Danila ascends the building by the fire escape and enters Mennis office, where he shoots down his colleague. Danila cooly confronts the rattled Chicago kingpin, denouncing his evil nature in Russian and then ordering him in plain English to give up all the money he cheated from Dmitry. Mennis does so and Danila lets him live. He disappears and meets up with Dmitry, the twin brother of his dead friend Konstantin. He hands over the money, telling him that his contract with Mennis is over and that the money is his. Dmitry thanks Danila and they say their farewells. Danila calls the trucker Ben on the phone and asks for help since he and Marylin are now wanted by the police and need to get out of the United States. Disguising them as a pair of oligarchs and dressed as their chauffeur, Ben manages to get them to the airport and though security ahead of the police. Danila bids Ben a warm farewell and leaves with Marilyn on a plane back to Russia.

Literature[edit]

  • Florian Weinhold (2013), Path of Blood: The Post-Soviet Gangster, His Mistress and Their Others in Aleksei Balabanov's Genre Films, Reaverlands Books: North Charleston, SC: pp. 66-90.

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

The film's soundtrack consists of popular songs from modern Russian and Ukrainian rock artists, such as Splean, Bi-2, Zemfira, Smyslovye Gallyutsinatsii, Chicherina, Okean Elzy and Nautilus Pompilius. The pop-star Irina Saltykova being one of important characters, there are some her songs in the soundtrack. The latter is partly a reference to the soundtrack of the original "Brother", which consists entirely of Nautilus Pompilius' songs. The soundtrack includes "Lafayette" performed by American band Sleeping For Sunrise.

  1. "Бай-Бай" — Irina Saltykova (O. Molchanov, A. Slavorosov)
  2. "Полковник" — Bi-2 (Shura Bi-2, Lyova Bi-2)
  3. "Счастье" — Bi-2 (Shura Bi-2, Lyova Bi-2)
  4. "Солнечный круг" — Irina Saltykova (O. Molchanov, A. Slavorosov)
  5. "Варвара" — Bi-2 (Shura Bi-2, Lyova Bi-2)
  6. "Огоньки" — Irina Saltykova (P. Andreev)
  7. "Искала" — Zemfira (Zemfira Ramazanova)
  8. "Ту Лу Ла" — Chicherina (Yulia Chicherina)
  9. "Гибралтар" — Vyacheslav Butusov (Vyacheslav Butusov, Dmitry Gunitsky)
  10. "Дорога" — AuktsYon (Leonid Fyodorov, Dmitry Ozeretsky)
  11. "Кавачай" — Okean Elzy (Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, Pavlo Hudimov)
  12. "Вечно молодой" — Smyslovyie gallyutsinatsii (Sergey Bobunets, Oleg Genenfeld)
  13. "Коли тебе нема" — Okean Elzy (Svyatoslav Vakarchuk)
  14. "Розовые очки" — Smyslovye gallyutsinatsii (Sergey Bobunets, Oleg Genenfeld)
  15. "Гни свою линию" — Splin (Aleksandr Vasil'ev)
  16. "Секрет" — Agata Kristi (Gleb Samoylov)
  17. "Никогда" — Vadim Samoylov (Vadim Samoylov)
  18. "Город" — Tantsy minus (Vyacheslav Petkun)
  19. "Катманду" — Krematoriy (Armen Grigoryan)
  20. "Иду" — Tantsy minus (Vyacheslav Petkun)
  21. "Земля" — Masha i medvedi (Denis Petukhov, Maria Makarova)
  22. "Lafayette" — Sleeping for Sunrise (Blake J. Zweig, James Konczyk, Jay Ranz)
  23. "Погляд" — La-Mansh (Dmytro Tsyperdiuk)
  24. "Прощальное письмо" — Nautilus Pompilius and Children's Choir led by M. I. Slavkin (Vyacheslav Butusov, Dmitry Umetsky)
  25. "Стюардесса Жанна" — The Metropol Restaurant Orchestra (Vladimir Presnyakov Jr., Ilya Reznik, Aleksandr Starobinets)

Trivia[edit]

  • Bodrov's line 'in English' had to be subtitled for English-speaking audiences.
  • The scene where Danila meets Dmitri Gromov at the hockey practice features several prominent Pittsburgh Penguins players. Jaromir Jagr is seen in one shot and Darius Kasparaitis has a small speaking role.

External links[edit]

References[edit]