I went to the “Challenge”, and I will share my impressions. First, the actual impressions, and in the end we will go through the “rivets” and technical mistakes.
The film is beautiful. The centrifuge, the Il-76 MDK training aircraft, the rocket launch, the International Space Station, the landing, are shown and drawn “deliciously”, the pathos rolls over. The views from the ISS window are also good. Shipenko did not fly in vain. Peresild, in general, also played well, but Novitsky was clearly mad on the set and ruined all the takes. But Shkaplerov is just handsome – he tried.
The film is compelling. The total fear of the security forces and the triumph of “telephone law” are shown very close to the original. Everyone is afraid of the prosecutor’s office: teachers, doctors, the director of the MCC… The prosecutor talks about the law, but immediately forgets about it when he hears the right voice on the phone. Expensive foreign cars and colored wood for the decoration of the offices of directors of Roskosmos are also like real ones. It’s funny that the Soviet interiors of the Mission Control Center are shown as the insides of the National Space Center, which is just being built in reality.
The film is propaganda. There are no Americans at all! The existence of the American segment of the ISS is remembered only to report how they use processed urine there.
There is no painkiller in domestic first-aid kits, can you ask the Americans? No, we’d rather spend the spaceship on a risky operation.
Use more spacious partner laboratory modules for surgery?
No, let’s put the astronaut on the dining table in Zvezda.
Call foreign specialists to help assist in the operation?
No, the enemy hand must not touch the Russian body!
To tell the audience that the Americans did not fly to the moon, there was no Gemini XI, and no one even repaired the Hubble telescope? Of course yes!
Take beautiful shots in the European Cupola module on the American segment of the ISS without even hinting that it is not ours? It’s also possible.
And there are no less crosses with icons flashing in the frame than portraits of Gagarin and Korolev. It’s amazing how the scene of the consecration of the rocket was not shown.
The American Mark Vande Hay and the American flag were carefully photoshopped in a general picture at the MCC.
But the emblem of the ISS Expedition 66 remained, stylized as the emblem of the historic Route 66 in the USA.
Photogenic American elements of the station and spaceships were also shown, only carefully covering up all the inscriptions.
I can’t say anything about medical accuracy. But I can say that the main character undressed very convincingly. She performed one operation in space, but she undressed to her underwear twice, and in just the screen time of space flight, the topic of undressing and changing clothes is raised four times!
Taking into account the cost of one space flight – about $ 50 million – this is the most expensive film in the history of Russian cinema. But the flight was paid for from the state budget, which means that each Russian paid 30 rubles for it, although you will have to pay another ticket for watching it in the cinema. Considering that the actual operation on the astronaut was filmed on earth, and from space filming, the film included only flights back and forth, looks out the window and undressing the actress, “The Challenge” definitely went down in the history of world astronautics as the first light erotica filmed in space. Tom Cruise is definitely not beaten, he’s old already.
And, to be honest, for Peresild’s nipples protruding through a model bra – IN COSMAS – thirty is not a pity.
In general, it is surprising how, taking into account smoking, alcohol, space dismemberment and almost nudity, the film was able to get a rank of 6+, but here, apparently, the lobby of Rogozin and Ernst worked.
In general, the paternal hand of Rogozin is visible throughout the film, at some points one can feel his editorial correction, which adds patriotic weight to the film, sparkling sexist humor and loyalty to the course of the Party. A spit in the direction of Mashkov Krikalev – “Do you want a third star?” – also probably his handiwork. It is known that Krikalev is the only one from the leadership of Roskosmos who opposed launching artists into space.
Apparently, this film will be the main achievement of Rogozin as head of Roskosmos. And, yes, I’m serious. If not for the Russian attack on Ukraine and the escalation of Russian aggression, then this film would have played a useful role in popularizing Russian cosmonautics at the world level, increasing the authority of the space profession in society, and increasing the demand for Russian ships from space tourists from all over the world. But in 2022, something happened, and today the film turned out to be a shot into the void.
Now to the “rivets”. There are many of them, despite the fact that real space specialists participated in the creation of the film. But where the director wins consultants or the budget is not enough to draw physics in computer graphics, then blunders come out.
– The plot of the plot is unrealistic for several reasons.
First, dangerous encounters with space debris are determined in a few days. The sudden appearance of space debris on the station’s trajectory can only occur if some crazy Russian Ministry of Defense decides shoot down a satellite at an altitude close to the ISS, without warning anyone about it.
Secondly, turning on the rocket engine a few seconds before the arrival of the debris will not give anything – flights within a radius of several kilometers are considered dangerous, and moving a heavy station from the danger zone takes more time.
Thirdly, the thrust of the Progress engines is weak for a four-hundred-ton station. If you read regular reports in the media about the correction of the station’s orbit, you can see how insignificant the impact of the ship is, for example: “the engines worked for 376 seconds and gave out an impulse of 0.7 m/s, the average height of the ISS orbit increased by 1.2 km.”
Those. astronauts working at the station would hardly notice this maneuver, and no cinematic jerk would come of it. The only danger for them would be in the fallout of elements of poisonous fuel on the suit, but in this case, the help of not a surgeon, but a toxicologist would be needed.
– Shown in the movie, the impact of a Russian cosmonaut on a folded radiator would not have led to such serious health consequences. The key word here is “Russian”, not because our cosmonauts are such strong men, but because the Russian Orlan spacesuit has a rigid body just in the chest area.
If the blow is so strong that it breaks through this “cuirass”, then the astronaut dies from depressurization, and does not suffer from internal injuries. If the blow does not penetrate the body of the spacesuit, then the astronaut is threatened with a maximum mild concussion.
– A flying astronaut crashes into a solar battery, but it remains unshakable, like a black obelisk. In fact, solar panels are very light structures on a thin aluminum frame, so a collision with a two hundred kilogram astronaut will not go unnoticed by them. We can compare the appearance of the solar battery of the Mir station, which survived the collision with the Progress-M34 cargo ship.
— Stars in space in the daytime sky are not visible! The most common mistake of all the creators of films about space. In reality, the sun is too bright and illuminates the eyes, the film, the camera matrix, and the stars are too pale and therefore the daytime cosmic sky is impenetrably black, especially against the background of the sun.
– The crew for some reason sleeps anywhere except their own cabins.
Moreover, the audience was told about the cabins in the Zvezda module, but the surgeon was “put” in the “Science”, the sick Bogdanov was sleeping in the “Search”, and two cosmonauts in the “Dawn”, and for all there was only one sleeping bag, which went to the guest.
— The station is not quiet at all, so it is almost impossible to hear the cosmonaut’s cough from the neighboring module, and even determine the deterioration in his condition. At the station, fans, compressors, pumps, and other equipment are constantly working to maintain a comfortable temperature, pressure, and air composition, so there is constant noise, like in a flying plane.
– Cosmonaut Bogdanov does not exist, unlike Dubrov and Shkaplerov. Probably because Novitsky, who played him, is an ethnic Belarusian, which does not fit into the concept of a film about rescuing a heroic Russian cosmonaut.
– The record for the total stay of a person in space is now held by Gennady Padalka – 878 days, and not more than 900, as in the film, but Roscosmos also does not want to remember him because of the scandal with which Padalka left the Cosmonaut Corps and his convictions Russian attack on Ukraine.
— There are painkillers in space first-aid kits. For example, in the Russian segment, promedol and analgin, the Americans have ibuprofen, hydromorphone, ketorolac, lidocaine … In extreme cases, our cosmonauts can always find a hidden scale at the station and provide the astronaut with a reduction in pain shock in case of an emergency landing.
– A man rose above the Earth above 400 km. Examples of when this happened, I have already mentioned.
– The thickness of the space station is more than 3 millimeters, since there are several layers of protection: a hermetic shell, thermal protection, anti-meteorite protection, but the thickness of the hermetic layer is really about the same, although it can vary in different modules and their elements.
– A complex operation launched in violation of orders from the Earth, and the willingness of the cosmonauts to obey the “flying doctor” bypassing the instructions of the head of the CTC and the head of Roskosmos looks like the most unconvincing plot twist of the film. Cases “space riot” are known in the history of astronautics, but in the film it is not sufficiently substantiated.
– Tweezers spinning in weightlessness would behave differently than shown in the movie, which, in fact, indicates the earthly origin of the shooting of the astronaut operation.
In reality, it would be “Dzhanibekov’s tweezers.”
– A spacewalk “as a gift” can technically be assumed only with the approval of the MCC, and a surprise, like in a movie, will not work, since a safe exit requires ground training: theoretical studies and training. The exit itself requires many hours of preparation, which is also impossible to carry out unnoticed by the MCC.
– During the spacewalk, the astronaut is attached to the station with two halyards, not one.
– A spacewalk in an evening dress instead of a water-cooled suit is possible, but only once.
And instead of admiring the cosmic beauties, a person will slowly warm up, as with the flu, exceed the temperature of 42 degrees and die. Staying in the sun will only speed up this process. The whole spacesuit scene is an advertisement for such a service for potential space tourists, which was promoted by the commercial division of Roscosmos – Glavkosmos, not for nothing that he is a partner in the film. Although the “dress to go out” is perhaps the freshest and most organic joke in the entire film.
In general, the film came out well. Clearly better than Salyut-7, and does not claim to be historically accurate. Although I would recommend watching it with the sound turned off, so you can enjoy the beauty of the cosmos and Peresild, and avoid the Rogozin kringa. The film’s dialogue is a little more than predictable and obvious, and the plot is simple and linear.
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