Black Lightning

Black Lightning / Чёрная молния

Published: January 15, 2017

Black Lightning (Чёрная молния) is a 2009 Russian fantasy/adventure/superhero film. It is about a 1966-issue Volga car (one of the Soviet Union’s makes) that Dmitry Maikov, a high school student, is given by his father. It turns out that the car can actually fly … and it contains missile launchers.

Dmitry goes through multiple changes of heart about what the car should be used for—his first instinct is to impress girls with it—and finally he decides to use his powers for good and become a modern-day superhero. Then a Moscow businessman who wants to use the car’s powers for his own ends tries to get in the way. But the film takes place around New Year’s, so it all must end happily.

The film got varied reviews from viewers and critics, overall leaning slightly toward the negative, and it didn’t do very well at awards season. Despite that, the Time Out–Moscow reviewer wrote that it wouldn’t be New Year’s without a new film from producer and occasional director Timur Bekmambetov (Тимур Бекмамбетов), who is responsible not only for Black Lightning but also many, many recent Russian blockbusters—Night Watch (Ночной дозор), Day Watch (Дневной дозор), some of the Christmas Trees (Ёлки) films, Gorko! (Горько!), and The Irony of Fate: The Sequel (Ирония судьбы: Продолжение), among others. This film fit in well with that legacy and also allowed Russian filmmakers to flex their special-effects muscles. It’s been described as the Russian version of Spider-Man, an appealing description if there ever were one.

Directors: Aleksandr Voytinskiy (Александр Войтинский), Dmitry Kiselyov (Дмитрий Киселёв)
Stars: Grigoriy Dobrygin (Григорий Добрыгин), Ivan Zhidkov (Иван Жидков), Viktor Verzhbitskiy (Виктор Вержбицкий), Sergey Garmash (Сергей Гармаш), Yekaterina Vilkova (Екатерина Вилкова), Yelena Valyushkina (Елена Валюшкина)
Production company: Bazelevs Productions, Universal Pictures
Box office take: $19.68 million

Find Black Lightning on Amazon

Official trailer:

Find Black Lightning on Amazon


Black Lightning

About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk and before that, Bishkek, with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

View all posts by: Julie Hersh