Based on a true story: in 1941, a Russian WWII pilot crash-lands deep in enemy territory. Seriously injured, he must battle hunger, extreme cold, and wild animals—all while evading Nazi soldiers—if he is ever to make it home alive.

What We Thought:

To say right now is bad timing for a pro-Russian war movie to be released is an understatement. The night I watched The Pilot not two hours later Russia had officially invaded the Ukraine. Anyone outside of Russia might not be jumping at the chance to cheer on a Soviet pilot to survive even if it is against Nazi Germany.

And that’s a shame because the film is pretty good. The cinematography is very good especially the scenes in the air. It opens with a dog fight, Soviet planes versus German planes and one could argue that scene is just as good as any others we’ve seen before. There is another scene with planes towards the end that looks fantastic as well. I would have loved an entire movie of nothing, but World War II plane scenes.

But the film is about a pilot crashing and trying to survive not only German soldiers, but the cold and wild. He is helped along the way at different times and there are flashbacks to him meeting a woman and promising to come back to her. Every time he’s down he remembers his promise to her.

I’m not sure if this is a spoiler, but he eventually makes his way to a hospital where he struggles. He eventually recovers and despite being fitted for prosthetics, he fights his way to being back in the pilot’s chair. A pilot belongs in a plane and he’s back to fighting in the war. Does he survive in the plane? Well that I won’t spoil.

The Pilot is interesting and well made. The lead actor held my attention throughout and the story is based on a few different Soviet pilots who they tell a bit about at the end. It really is a shame it’s hitting home video in the US right now because people might ignore it. I liked it, but also watched it right before things went sideways.

Country of Origin: Russia

The Pilot has a runtime of approximately 106 minutes and is not rated.

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