Jim Rhodes is a human rights worker in Tijuana for a few days to make sure that union elections are fair at a maquiladora owned by a U.S. corporation. In quick succession, the police assault the strikers, the bodies of 27 peasants turn up in an abandoned tunnel that has caved in, and two U.S. teen bikers are missing. As Rhodes pokes around and speculates on connections among these events, he's beaten up, warned off by a drug dealer's attorney, and given varying degrees of help by the U.S. State Department rep, the U.S. Trade rep, and an honest local cop. It's always about money, but whose is at stake and how cheap is Rhodes's life? Written by
When Rhodes and Emily Thompson are drinking "doubles" in the bar; as they converse, their glasses go from newly filled to almost empty to newly filled again within moments. See more »
[Castillo, who's a detective, and Rhodes, who's an American, are being shot at while investigating some shacks in Mexico]
People hunt out here a lot?
Just for gringos and dumb cops.
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Superficially, 'I Witness' sounds very promising: a thriller whose story mixes the battle of a union for recognition, a mass grave in Mexico and the mysterious vanishing of two American kids. But everyone speaks in that slick, snappy way you only seem to hear in film or TV, Jeff Daniels plays a human rights monitor as a self-righteous international detective, and Portia de Rossi is utterly ludicrous in her role, eye-candy disguised as an American trade envoy. More generally, the film lapses into portraying Mexico as a place where everything is utterly rotten, while the US government, although questioned, ultimately comes down on the right side in the rather ludicrous finale. Yet another criticism is that there's just too much action: for certain, there are plenty of worst offenders, but a drama with any real interest in Mexican assembly plants, or drug cartels, would follow a single story with more care, instead of decorating it with as many chases and gun fights as we get here. Ultimately, this is a film that doesn't seem to know what it wants to be: strip away the pretension to seriousness, and there's not much more than an underpowered version of something like the Jason Bourne films. It's a shame, because there's more than enough potential content in it's ideas to make a great movie.
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