This is one of those “twist” movies, as a novelist hires a hitman to do some research for his books, only to find himself embroiled in the assassin’s own plans for revenge.

It’s stylish and an interesting genre flick from Russia, but this type of plot has been mined far too often in American cinema to hold any real surprise, and the obvious conclusion distracts from what, at least initially, promised to be a fresh look at this type of film. Instead, we’re left with a fairly plodding, pedestrian thriller, without enough substance to go along with the style.