Grand Theft Auto in real life? Here you go

Some quite pulsating Russian dashcam footage ends with a car chase, a knife, a shovel, and a sense of deja-seen-that-in-a-video-game.

He's got a knife. And he's about to fall off the roof. Alexander Zhavoronkin/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Some Russians, it might appear, tend to enjoy life at the sharp end.

Some bathe in a certain appreciation for drama, conflict, and intimidation (or at least a certain familiarity with it).

This may make them excellent video game players. It also offers an additional dimension to Russian dashcam footage.

The latest to emerge has more than a soupcon of Grand Theft Auto. Cars speed maniacally. Side-swiping occurs with the minimum of conscience.

Then it all ends in a fight.

I am grateful to Metro UK for speeding this video to the world beyond Irkutsk.

It's around the three-minute mark that action heats up and the protagonists begin to express the full range of their characters.

There has clearly been a disagreement between the driver of the Toyota and the person who happens to have a minivan.

Perhaps they are brothers who tossed a coin to see who would have which car, and the minivan driver lost. Or perhaps they are fighting over a woman, a stash of drugs, or some stolen tickets to a Vangelis concert.

Within seconds of the sideswipe, one man has a knife, the other has a shovel. What then unfolds is a peculiar mixture of menace and comedy, in which the shovel-waver manages to outmaneuver the knife-wielder, despite occupying the lower ground.

You might especially enjoy the brief time the knife-wielder spends on the roof of the minivan.

At one point, it seems as if we're about to be treated to a balletic Russian version of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." But then, instead of striking the knife-wielder with his shovel, the shoveler tosses snow at him.

This may be a common local ritual, for all I know.

I am, though, concerned about the man who filmed it. The movie stops at an awkward moment, suggesting that he might be Russia's Quentin Tarantino and is saving the rest of the footage for a Part II.

But what if the shovel-waver and the knife-wielder now realize they were being filmed and join forces to eliminate him?

This is Russia. Anything could happen.

 

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