Everyone worried that our current plague of superhero movies would somehow fail to jump international borders can rest easy: Judging from this new trailer for the upcoming Russian film Guardians (Zaschitniki), the Eastern Bloc has moved from the sniffles to full-blown Captain Trips. An elite team of superheroes stepping out of the shadows to protect their country? Check. The vague promise of a “final battle?” Check. Not-very-convincing CGI? Oh, you know that’s a check.
The Verge had the story first and focused on the fact that the Russians are making a film that speaks to their values, like Captain America speaks to ours, but it seems a little more complicated than that. As with the Soviet Rambo, which, like the American one, was about a rogue U.S. soldier refighting Vietnam, Guardians also feels like flipping the perspective without flipping the script. The superheroes in Guardians have a backstory that would make them the villains in an American film: They’re the product of a long-buried secret Soviet weapons program, and each one represents a different former Soviet republic; an earlier trailer featured Goldeneye-style footage of crumbling statues of Lenin. Americans also tell stories about the Soviet Union getting the band back together again, but the tone’s a little different. (The director, Sarik Andreasyan, is an Armenian who was 8 years old when Armenia declared independence.) Anyway, the important thing is this: One of the superheroes is a Russian Bear, who apparently carries a minigun around on his back.
But that’s not all. Per Wikipedia, Arsus, the machine gun bear, is not just a bear but also a “Wildman.” This raises more troubling strategic questions than the Russian superhero movie initiative, since Obama has deliberately depleted our nation’s Wildman reserves. Here’s hoping the trailer inspires the nation to start strapping American-made machine guns on our own North American grizzlies well before Guardians’ 2017 release date. Mr. President, we must not allow a Wildman gap!