Mirror Wars: Reflection One (2005)

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Character Actor
Dick Murdoch Malcolm McDowell
Boris Korin Valery Nikolayev
Alexei Kedrov Alexander Yefimov
Boss Rutger Hauer
York Armand Assante
Grom Anatoly Zhuravlev
Katherine Ksenia Alferova
Manfred Mikhail Gorevoy
Anton Kedrov Ivars Kalnins
Sobol Oleg Kapanets
Col. Svirsky Valeri Afanasyev
Agent Orange Amaliya Mordvinova
Aziza Olga Yakovtseva
  Vladimir Vinogradov
  Ksenia Rappoport
  Amalia Goldanskaya
  Sergey Chonishvili
  Anatoli Zhuravlyov

Directed by Vasily Chiginsky
Written by Oleg Kapanets & Alex Kustanovich


Malcolm McDowell and Rutger Hauer at Mosfilm
Lada Akimova 8/19/04
    Malcolm McDowell and Rutger Hauer have come to Moscow for several days to take part in the film directed by Vasily Chiginsky called "Mirror Wars: SU - XX" which they are shooting now in stage 10 of Mosfilm Cinema Concern.
    Unlike Rutger Hauer who is working in Russia for the first time, this is Malcolm McDowell's second Russian film. In 1990 he played the leading role in the "Assassin" directed by Karen Shakhnazarov. "This is one of my favorite films", - McDowell admitted. The actors who had won world recognition unanimously assert that they like very much how the set is equipped. It is not inferior to that of Hollywood. McDowell recollected with nostalgia shooting of the film "Assassin" - he enjoyed very much the ingenuity of the whole film crew, and he added there and then: "I do not know how it could be possible to make "Assassin" even more professionally".
    During a shooting break Malcolm McDowell and Rutger Hauer met Karen Shakhnazarov, general director of Mosfilm Cinema Concern. Karen Shakhnazarov and Malcolm McDowell have been on friendly terms since shooting of "Assassin", and the actor wondered quite sincerely, how it was possible to combine administrative work with shootings films. In response Karen Georgievich invited him to see his latest picture "The Rider Named Death".
    The actors with great pleasure took the advantage of an invitation to see "Old Moscow" scenery on Mosfilm location shooting ground and retro-automobiles fleet.
    During the extempore excursion international celebrities who had shooting experience in a lot of different sceneries and interiors, looked like children: their admiration of what they saw was so sincere. "In Hollywood everything is much simpler", Malcolm McDowell said.

Malcolm McDowell to Star in a Film Promoting Su Fighter Jets
Oleg Liakhovich MosNews 8/18/04
    Even though the new Russian-U.S action movie currently shooting on Mosfilm studios and on location at the Zhukovsky Airfield outside Moscow and in Crimea will feature some well-known Hollywood names, its true star is none other than the new prototype stealth fighter jet by Sukhoi, the Russian military aircraft company largely responsible for financing the movie, aimed at promoting its deadly produce abroad while delivering some good old trashy entertainment.
    The movie's $10 million budget is unusually high for Russian cinema, allowing producer Oleg Kapanets to hope for it becoming the leader of Russian box-office when Mirror Wars (also referred to under the alternate working title Su-XX) come out the next year. Although he declined to name a precise figure of Sukhoi's financial involvement, Mr. Kapanets admitted that it is indeed "substantial" and that hopefully Mirror Wars will assist in selling Sukhoi aircraft abroad, notably to China and India where the movie is intended for wide distribution. According to Mr. Kapanets, it's about promoting a certain image while telling about the people who fly these jets and the people who build them. The film is described as "military-patriotic", its plot built around a new Sukhoi fighter jet and involving competing agents from CIA, FSB, and the Chinese intelligence.
    With Russian first-time director Vasily Chiginsky at the helm, the movie features actors Rutger Hauer and Armand Assante. The main character, a Russian fighter pilot is played by Valery Nikolaev, who's no stranger to working in an international cast, having appeared in such Hollywood films as Steven Spielberg's The Terminal (2004), Oliver Stone's U-Turn (1997) and Phillip Noyce's The Saint (1997).
    The chief bad guy is portrayed by Malcolm McDowell (who describes his character as "an ex-CIA guy who turned a little bad"), prominent, in the last twenty years or so, as the token villain of numerous B-movies - but also the star of Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971), the controversial adult drama Caligula (1979) and of Lindsay Anderson's memorable trilogy venomously lashing out at British social institutions, started in If… (1968) and continued in O Lucky Man! (1973) and Britannia Hospital (1982). In 1991 McDowell starred in a Russian movie Tsareubijtsa (The Assassin of the Tsar) in a double role of Yakov Yurovsky, who commanded the execution of Russia's last Tsar Nicholas II and his family in 1918 and a psychiatric patient in early 1990s Russia believing himself to be that man. He also earned notoriety - and even some death threats - among Star Trek fans as the man who killed Captain Kirk in Star Trek: Generations (1994).
    Some of Mr. McDowell's recent works include roles in Robert Altman's latest film The Company (2003) and in Evilenko (2004), inspired by the story of Russia's real-life serial killer Andrei Chicatillo ("Not a good man, admittedly", McDowell says, "In fact he's as bad as you can get."). Next month he will be appearing at the Edinburgh International Festival where he will present his one-man-show in a tribute to his late friend and mentor Lindsay Anderson, based on his notebooks and diaries.

McDowell to star as bad guy in Russian film 8/17/04
    Moscow, (Interfax) - The prominent British-born Hollywood actor Malcolm McDowell will star as the villain in a Russian action movie with the working title Su-XX, he said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.
    McDowell, who will play the part of an ex-CIA agent in the film, said he wasn't surprised to be playing a rogue part a film again. He said he takes pleasure in it.
    McDowell also said he is not against playing the parts of people on the verge of insanity, noting that insanity in a way lives in each person. He, however, assured the audience that he is a healthy and reasonable man, although it is a great pleasure for him to play insane people, not to mention that he is paid for that.

Hollywood actor impressed at pace of development of Russia cinema 8/16/04
    Moscow, (Itar-Tass) -- British actor Malcolm McDowell is greatly impressed with the pace of the development of Russian cinema. He got convinced of this from experience, having played the main part in the Russo-American film Mirror Wars Su-XX.
    The British actor who rose to fame after appearing in such films as Caligula and Clockwork Orange is in a position to judge as he first arrived in Moscow in 1990 to perform in Karen Shakhnazarov's film Czar's Assassin. McDowell believes he was the first Western actor to play a Russian. He said in 14 years since then the Russian capital changed greatly, turning into a contemporary city comparable to Paris, London and New York.
    McDowell did not hesitate to accept a part in a Russo-American film. He plays the part of a veritable villain, an ex-CIA agent and is co-starred by Arman Assante, Rutger Hauer and Valery Nikolayev. The shooting was made at the Mosfllm studios, near the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, at the Domodedovo airport and in the central streets of Moscow. The film directed by Vassily Chiginsky will have its Russian and world premiers in the spring of 2005.


Mosfilm 8/22/04 with Malcolm McDowell
Mosfilm 8/19/04 with Rutger Hauer

Mirror Wars Press Conference 8/17/04 with Malcolm McDowell

Moscow Times 8/12/04 with Malcolm McDowell



Behind the Scenes
MM at a Russian Press Conference

MM on set in street clothes

Collage photos of MM at Mosfilm Studios

Malcolm on the set with the plane behind him

Malcolm with the director

Russian Promo Card - Front

Russian Promo Card - Back

Murdoch sitting at his desk

Murdoch pointing with Katherine and jet behind him

Murdoch having a discussion


    In two words: big ambition. They are very proud of their real life special effects as there is almost no CGI, the flights, the explosions, all real. The script has more holes than Swiss cheese. It's not really, really bad, but would benefit from rewriting. MM is sort of a James Bond gone bad, too cool for words. The character is underwritten, but he brings a sort of a cynical charm to his part and is very believable. The script also lacks a clearly defined hero, there are too many characters and little time to root for them. Murdock turns out to have quite a lot of screen time and some of the best lines in the film. Armand Assante is pretty good, but he has very little to do beside pace back and forth, look worried, and say lines like "We've got to catch him", "I will get him", "The secret service will get him." Rutger Hauer is there for five minutes tops. He's cool but his part is smaller than MM's part was in Mr. Magoo. 
    The other characters: four young pilots (with very little differences in character and most killed off in the first quarter), the avia constructor who is a total bore, two special agents from the Russian analog of FBI who try too hard to be tough and witty a-la Die Hard (one of them is played by the producer, who also co-wrote the script.) A young American romantic heroine, played skillessly by a local starlette. The characters are lifeless, consumed by the plot, which is about the airplane, and MM, villain or not, has perhaps the most interesting part. He gets to do a little action, a little of the spy thing, a dramatic talk of his backstory - his trademark bad guy thing. He changes costumes, locations and even has a bit of aggressive sexual tension with his unwilling partner in crime, who is what they call a 'sexy bitch' (played by the studio owner's/producer/writer/actor's wife, no less. No other movie credits to her name.) 
    I've read an interview in one of the film magazines, taken on the set last year, where MM said he hated weapons and I wondered if he also hates it when he has to do it on the set. I mean, running around with a gun, shooting people left and right, all that. It's not for real, of course, but if he hates the weapons themselves...anyways, the real life airplane shots left me with an ambient feeling. On one hand, in the CGI era, it's sort of cool to know the thing was really flying up there, doing the air tricks and so on. On the other hand, I can't help thinking it would have looked more impressive if it were CGI - prettier, more powerful.

Summary - Official

Russian Air Force pilot Boris Korin, acting under orders from rogue former agent Murdoch, hijacks a Sukhoi fighter at a Moscow air show in 2005. He is sidelined before the strike on Air Force One is supposed to begin, and his crewmate, Alexei Kedrov, takes matters into his own hands. Needless to say, the U.S. president lives and the Sukhoi ends back in Russia without a scratch.

Together Before

2005 - Malcolm and Rutger Hauer were both in Tempesta.

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