A 2-hour film which doesn’t have enough action to keep you in awe, doesn’t have a good enough romantic plot to make you envious, and overall it makes you question why does Benicio Del Toro love long movies which go at such a slow pace?
Trigger Warning(s): Dead body of a Child
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
Nick (Josh Hutcherson) was just a young man from Canada working with his brother Dylan (Brady Corbet) and his wife in Colombia, surfing and just having fun. That is until one day Nick meets Maria (Claudia Traisac), a beautiful young woman who helps him and his brother with getting their life in Colombia setup. And from her act kindness comes Nick falling for her, and eventually the two dating and getting engaged. Something which seemingly Nick was coerced into by uncle Pablo Escobar (Benicio Del Toro) the father figure in Maria’s life, and the man who would do anything to save, and maintain, his empire.
I honestly am finding this hard to praise for, outside of the beautiful shots of Panama, everything I could praise comes with a bit of criticism. Like I could praise Del Toro’s portrayal of Pablo Escobar but at the same time, it isn’t like Del Toro is a character actor/ method actor. He pretty much brings the same persona to most of his roles and in this one, it honestly feels like he did this to add Pablo Escobar to the list of Central/ South American figures he played. Then, when it comes to Hutcherson, I could say this film does make it seem that being an action star, in a James McAvoy way, could be a decent career move for him, but at the same time, I would argue he needs someone he has genuine chemistry with to truly perform.
As noted in the overview, the film hasn’t any real strength. The romantic plot of Nick and Maria is lukewarm and the two actors chemistry doesn’t make you swoon or hope they can survive all that is thrown at them. And as much as you can see Del Toro tried to make Escobar a likable villain, it is apparent he is no Javier Bardem, who seems rather good at the practice. Which partly maybe due to Bardem not seeming like he is high while performing.
Overall: Skip It
What makes this film something to skip is that in its two-hour time span, there is nothing to latch onto. For neither the individual characters, their specific stories, or even the action scenes, really make you want to lean in for you want to fully take in what is going on, nor does it make you want to turn the subtitles on to fully understand the sometimes heavy accents of some of the actors. For, at the end of the day, this is another odd film which uses a well-known figure and instead of the film being a biopic , instead it is focused on some random person who has a weak connection to the figure, and yet they get drawn into their world and their life becomes hell.
Things To Note
 I should note that I was not expecting a biopic walking in at all. I’m just saying that a biopic would have been a more interesting choice than what was given.