|Index||9 reviews in total|
I almost didn't rent this one because the pre-visit to Blockbuster and the checks on IMdB indicated that this "new release" was only a 2 star offering. Now...sometimes I'm in the mood for low budget, brooding atmospherics with "indie-like" cinematography and no big stars that challenge my expectations and engage my unabated interest. Sometimes I'm in the mood for DeNiro playing Boris Badanov in Rocky & Bullwinkle (although not too often...once every year or two, maybe.) I enthusiastically recommend this sleeper. It hit me just right the realistic mood, the gritty shots of Mexico City's underbelly, the briskly developing plot (not too knotty for head scratching but not a formula telegram either) and I love seeing totally unknown actors act their asses off in a promotionally sleepy but alert screenplay! Jorge Robles [Pedro, the taxi driver with a moral compass on point throughout] was superb. Stacy Edwards was thoroughly believable as Mitch and I cheered as she emerged from her cocoon of bereavement into an `in-your-face-Ninja-warrior' woman who just wouldn't stay down for the count. Robert Patrick was OK but a bit wooden, as he always is in this type of G-man on a wire role, but maybe that's what G-men really act like after all. Anyhow kudos and see it. Do Not Be Deterred by the center-weighted 2 star average rating of the masses. After all, what do soccer moms and accountants who rent weekend new releases know about la vie noir?
I never had heard of this movie, or any of the actors(less Robert Patrick) before. It was a slow Sunday morning, and I just happened to have it on the channel showing this movie. I certainly enjoyed this movie much more than I thought I would. It was a very well acted, well-written study of the helplessness one would feel placed in the proverbial situation of a stranger in a strange land. It definitely showed Mexico City in real light, but I thing more importantly, it showed that not everyone in Mexico is corrupt, or dispassionate about helping outsiders. The character of Pedro was especially heroic. I definitely felt the level of frustration the lead character (Mitch) was feeling. Expert direction by Richard Shepard.
This film will never turn up as an in-flight feature on Mexicana Airlines. It shows the gritty, often ugly reality of Mexico City. Its tale of corruption and intrigue is nothing special. But the film captures the essence of Mexico City --- crowds, bustle, poverty, pollution, crime, machismo, antiquity and always, "la mordida" --- with compelling cinematography and a hauntingly effective Spanish guitar musical background. The camera angles are brilliant. The warm tones of the colour are perfect for the subject. There are many classic closeups of Mexican faces that alone make the film worthwhile. You almost smell the "pollo con aroz." And the amount of Spanish dialogue without subtitles underlines the frustratiions of the film's unilingual main character as she searches for her brother in an alien, puzzling and hostile environment. (Whatever did happen to him by the way?) The plot isn't new. Innocent American searches for missing ( )boyfriend ( )husband ( )wife ( )son ( )daughter ( )other in corrupt foreign capital with no help from double dealing US embassy. But this one is done superbly.
Richard Shepard's fascination with the kidnapping thriller has yielded
another successful twisted tale in MEXICO CITY (the other two: MERCY and
OXYGEN). Combining deft genre filmmaking chops with real insight into
what it means to feel truly vulnerable, in MEXICO CITY, Shepard leads
the viewer down a uniquely ravaged road of intrigue, deception,
heartbreak and loss.
Cinematographer Sarah Cawley is equally at the top of her game, painting
many moody tableaus. Editor Adam Lichtenstein ably sets Cawley's rich
compositions against each other, adding heft to the story's impact.
Rolfe Kent's score completes the circle by perfectly echoing Shepard's
search for faith in a seemingly godless world.
Let me qualify by saying that MEXICO CITY is by no means perfect, but if a thought-provoking thriller is what you're after, then see this film.
This movie shows great insight into what Mexico City is actually like. Not necessarily the mugging and shooting, however the shots of the city are outstanding. From the town square to the mix between poverty and wealth, the camera work in the film is unsurpassable. Even down to the green volkswagen beetles, the film is precise and real. Enjoyable movie.
In "Mexico City", Edwards plays a woman with recent personal loss who is reluctantly vacationing in the title city with her brother when he disappears. This very mediocre journeyman flick is all about her search for her bro and the intrigues which follow. "Mexico City" seems to lack authenticity (made in Mexico by Americans), paints a rather dismal portrait of the city, has plotholes and foibles galore, and is watered down to a very soft R rating. For those who can overlook these flaws, however, a tale of one woman's determination pitted against corruption and treachery in Mexico awaits. (C)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If a subsequent reviewer can rationalize what seems to be a major plot
hole, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise, I rate "Mexico City" as average.
The film is quite enjoyable. Some parts are extremely suspenseful. The
story has a number of tense scenes, and it features some excellent
on-the-ground filming of various parts of Mexico City. It's strong on
showing the people.
A brother (Johnny Zander) and sister (Stacy Edwards) travel to Mexico City. He takes some photos that lead into a conspiracy and this costs him his life. Edwards thinks he is missing and hunts for him. She manages to come into the film he took. The conspiracy has its agents, including police, hunting for her. She has the help of a cab driver, Jorge Robles.
Really, this story is mostly very good. But now the strange plot hole. She is taken to a safe house by American embassy personnel. They are attacked and killed. Edwards hides until they are gone. The attackers do not search the house for her. That's one issue. But then she emerges from a room and picks up the photos lying beside the dead embassy man. Why didn't the attackers get them when that was their objective? We are given no explanation. The rest of the movie then continues the chase.
Ms. Edwards is strong, determined and brash in her part.
There are a few minor adjustments that could be done, in my opinion,
and with that I would have given this film a 10 star rating.
I love this movie because it's no-nonsense. There is an easy to follow storyline and the film is acted out almost believably. I cannot add more to the technicality of the film but what I can say about this movie is that I love the musical score, the scenes, the way it draws me into the film here and there.
It's a movie I would recommend if you are open-minded and are in need of a relaxing time. For what it's worth, it's a movie that will be average but if you are like me it's a film that will forever stick with you.
It is a shame that a movie with such a good cinematography as this one had no plot to be supported by the work of Sarah Cawley (cinematography) and Adam Lichtenstein (Film Editing), and above all, no sense of what goes on in Mexico City. The movie tries to be a very realistic depiction of life in city, but it is unable to do it. It is a shame, a lot of film wasted. An American woman tries to find her brother who has been kidnaped. The first account of the story is powerful and interesting, very realistic, but it seems that there was no effort to come with a better narrative of the ordeal, especially when it comes to the issue of the attitudes of the US embassy personnel in Mexico City, when dealing with an issue like this one. Compare, as an example, with Frantic(1988), which deals with a similar issue. Something similar can be said of the role of local authorities. Compare, as an example, with Todo el Poder (1999). The movie is worth watching if you want to get a sense of the looks of the City itself, paying little or no attention to the rather weak "plot" and the many twists that require a rather extensive suspension of disbelief. Who is going to believe that a Mexican patrol from Mexico City is going to go all the way to catch the main characters to the Mexico-US border? And that this policeman is going to be able to use its radio from the border to Mexico City! Only the producers of this movie. It is worth mentioning that unlike Frida and other movies about Mexico at least in these one Mexicans talk Spanish.
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