Director Matthew Ross (Frank & Lola) and writers Stephen Hamel (Passengers) and Scott B. Smith (The Ruins) bring us Siberia, a tale of love and violence in the freezing, unforgiving land of the same name.

The film centers on American diamond trader Lucas (Keanu Reeves) who has traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia to make a big sale. He and his Russian business partner Pyotr have promised some extremely rare blue diamonds to a rather unscrupulous buyer (Pasha D. Lychnikoff). However, things go bad from the start when Pyotr skips town mere hours before the sale – diamonds in tow. The mobster buyer is none too pleased and gives Lucas a couple of days to produce the product he was promised – or else.

Under not-so-subtle threat of death, Lucas ventures to Siberia in hopes of hooking up with his wayward business partner. Instead, he meets a woman who changes the trajectory of his trip entirely. Katya (Ana Ularu) is the owner of her family’s hole-in-the-wall café, and she’s as strong-willed and blunt as she is beautiful – a blue diamond in the Siberian rough, as it were. The two are taken with each other, and despite Lucas’ marital status or the fact that he and Katya live continents apart, they embark on a passionate, unhinged love affair.

But when it comes time for Lucas to deal with the reality of his business situation, he and Katya are caught in a chain of shockingly violent events. The question soon becomes, can there possibly be a happy ending for the pair?

The biggest problem with Siberia is that it’s confusing. The plot isn’t hard to follow by any means, it’s just that it can’t really decide what it wants to be. Is it a drama? Is it a thriller? Is it a love story? Had they opted to tell solely the love story, the film might have been more successful, as the fiery scenes between Reeves and Ularu are undoubtedly its best. But in trying to do it all, the story falls short. It becomes tedious dialogue punctuated briefly by bursts of eroticism and violence. Basically, it’s a mishmash.

Further, audiences might take issue with Reeve’s character, not because of his adultery with Katya, but because he simply isn’t cool enough to care about. Obviously, every role Reeves plays can’t be a Neo or a John Wick, but Lucas just feels unrealized. He’s not an average Joe by any means — if he was, that would be fine — instead, he’s something like Liam Neeson’s character in Taken, only he never gets to utilize his particular set of skills in a satisfying way. Many scenes are set up so that you expect him to do something truly badass, but then nothing he does has any real oomph to it. “Oh, these guys are talking about him in Russian, but they don’t know he speaks it fluently,” you think. “This will be really good.” Then … nothing. We don’t need a superhero, but we need a little more payoff if we’re expected not to get bored.

Overall, Reeves and Ularu have undeniable chemistry, but their love-making and banter alone can’t save Siberia. We’re meant to feel enthralled, but much of the movie feels, unfortunately, a little too much like its namesake – one long, numbing slog through the snow.

Siberia opens in theaters July 13th.