As 1941 rolled on, it looked almost inevitable that Hitler’s seemingly inexorable march eastwards would ensure victory over the Western part of the Soviet Union. By October, the Wehrmacht had its sights trained squarely on Moscow. This battle would eventually change the course of World War II and the Red Army’s defence was desperate. With forces split and reserves posted elsewhere commanders turned to the Podolsk cadets as their last hope. The Final Stand tells their story.
Brought up in an orphanage, whilst Sashka (Artyom Gubin) is never too far from trouble he’s also a highly talented artilleryman. His best friend Dmitry (Igor Yudin) is a stickler for rules and couldn’t be more different. They’re cadets at the Podolsk artillery and infantry schools and will soon become commanders. They both vie for the attentions of Masha (Lubov Konstantinova), a beautiful nurse. However, despite only being part-way through training, duty calls.
Inspired by true events, The Final Stand delivers on the action front. There’s plenty of blood, fighting and explosions. Indeed, the effects wouldn’t look out of place in a Hollywood blockbuster. On this front, Vadim Shmelyov’s film uses its big budget well. Resplendent with great period detail, the battles come thick and fast. However, it’s partly funded by the Russian Ministry of Culture, which might go someway to explaining for the rampant nationalism and a tendency towards melodrama. Having said that, The Final Stand is a war film with a lot of oomph.
The Final Stand is released on DVD and Digital Platforms by Signature Entertainment on 8 March.