Keanu Reeves vehicle Siberia leaves one cold

In Siberia, Keanu Reeves plays Lucas, an American diamond merchant involved in a sleazy deal to sell blue diamonds, some of which may be fakes, to the Russian mafia.
In Siberia, Keanu Reeves plays Lucas, an American diamond merchant involved in a sleazy deal to sell blue diamonds, some of which may be fakes, to the Russian mafia.PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION

Review/Romance thriller

Siberia (R21)

105 minutes/Opens July 19/1 star


The story: Lucas (Keanu Reeves) is an American diamond merchant involved in a sleazy deal to sell blue diamonds, some of which may be fakes, to the Russian mafia. When his contact goes missing, he has to travel to a small Siberian mining town to find him. There, Lucas meets cafe owner Katya (Ana Ularu) and the two begin a passionate affair.

Reeves's role choices are odd, to say the least, and he is pipped only by Nicolas Cage in the "what was he thinking?" race to find the least promising project in which to star.

But Reeve's presence greenlights projects such as this one which, without him, would not - and should not - have seen the light of day.

In this throwback to the 1980's heyday of the erotic thriller, he very calmly and Keanu-ishly handles Russian-accented death threats from mobsters while conducting a torrid affair with cafe owner Katya (Romanian actress Ularu).

Lucas is a dodgy businessman and, in one of this film's several convenient and illogical turns, is willing to put his life and business deals at risk when he steps in to stop the harassment of Katya by local rednecks, thus endearing himself to her and her bed.

The rednecks deliver street justice to him, but this being a Reeves vehicle, the American foreigner quickly gains their trust and loyalty because he is just so cool, in what can only be described as the Siberian version of the white saviour complex.