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The Mexican Revolution is on its way when six brave peasants, known as "Los Leones de San Pablo", decide to join Pancho Villa's army and help end the suffering in their community by assisting in the struggle. After several battles and valiant heroics, the original group is eventually reduced to the leader Tiburcio Maya (Frausto) and young Becerrillo (Vallarino). When Becerrillo is infected by smallpox, Villa orders Tiburcio to kill him and burn the corpse. After reluctantly doing his duty, Tiburcio is ordered to leave the army, and returns home. Written by
Maximiliano Maza <email@example.com>
Unfortunately, the summary seems to give away most of the film!
Many folks consider this one of the very best Mexican films and I noticed that most of the reviews for the film loved it. The Mexican-based reviewers all gave it 10s or 9s on IMDb. The sole non-Mexican (before this review) was not in the least impressed by the film--giving it a 4! I think this is because the film has a very strong resonance for Mexicans--something that will likely be lost on other folks. Like the lone negative review, I don't have the emotional or cultural connection that made me love "Let's Go With Pancho Villa"-- and that may be why I was also so indifferent to the film. I didn't hate it but I obviously didn't see it in what the Mexican reviewers saw.
The film is about a group of six men from a small Mexican town who call themselves "Los Leones de San Pablo" (The Lions of St. Paul). They join up with Pancho Villa's revolutionary army and through the course of the film, they die off one by one. That is, until the end when there are two left and one of them has smallpox--and the other is ordered to kill him and burn his body!!
After doing his duty, the sole survivor simply walks off into the night--presumably to return home to his family. HOWEVER, the DVD also contains an alternate ending--one that seems tacked on to make the viewers understand that Villa, after a while, became a real scum-bag and a man whose army lost their ideas. While the nihilistic alternate ending does a good job of making you hate Villa, it also seems overlong and a bit silly.
So why was I so indifferent to the film? The biggest reason were the battle scenes. Many (particularly earlier in the film) seemed almost like they were filmed in slow motion and there was no energy whatsoever about them. What SHOULD have been rousing scenes instead just seemed to drag on and on. So, technically speaking, this aspect of the film left a lot to be desired. I also thought the character 'Fatso' was a bit of a cheap stereotype. As for what I liked, when they weren't fighting, the acting was quite nice-- subdued but in a good way. Overall, a film that I was only mildly intrigued by at best and one that, to me, isn't even close to the best Mexico has to offer.
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