The name Alexander Nevsky first pinged my radar in the mid 2000’s. I came across a DVD of Moscow Heat in a Hollywood Video (remember those?) and decided to take a chance on its unsubtle box art and eclectic cast (Michael York in a modern action movie, sign me up!). What I got was an 80s throwback actioner in the vein of early Schwarzenegger starring writer/producer/Russian Schwarzenegger, Alexander Nevsky. The film was a good pre-Isaac Florentine DTV actioner that wore its 80s influences on its sleeve. What really struck me about it was the infectious enthusiasm that Nevsky brought to the film; he was an action movie fanatic making movies for other action movie fanatics. A few years later I stumbled across Nevsky’s next opus, Treasure Raiders; a wild (if uneven) mix of National Treasure, the Fast and The Furious, the DaVinci Code with a heavy dose of 80s action.
A consistently intriguing aspect of Nevsky’s filmography is eclectic casting. From Michael York and Adrian Paul in Moscow Heat to David Carradine in Treasure Raiders, he regularly surrounds himself with actors who fans don't get to see as often as they might like. Nevsky himself is a quite capable action star, bringing an imposing physicality to his role. You will constantly ask yourself “why are people dumb enough to mess with this guy?!?!”. While his blunt delivery doesn’t quite click during the film’s detective scenes, it works like a charm when the film goes into action mode.