Puerto Vallarta Squeeze (2004)
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The fact that the government agency is unnamed should give you a hint about what kind of story this is. It's one that won't step on anybody's toes, including the CIA and Mexican law enforcement agents.
The story as sketched in above is really rather skeletal, I know, but there's not really that much more to the plot. The performances vary a lot in their quality. Scott Glenn is his taciturn icy self, his face and torso more etched with experience than ever. Giovanna Zacarias is by no means beautiful in any ordinary sense, yet her character is intelligent, empathic, and proud. She has strong features and glistening black eyes and although she may have been a whore ("the woman of desperation") she might just be the kind of puta you would think about taking home to Mamma. Keitel combines being laid back with being as tense as an unsprung jack-in-the-box. Craig Wasson sounds like Albert Brooke and looks a little like him. He does not deliver anything I could detect as a believable line.
If you are being kept captive by a CIA hit man and wanted to sneak away, would YOU constantly argue with him and your girl friend? Would you shout at him in a public restaurant? In other words, would you do everything you possibly could to make him keep his eye on you? That's not entirely Wasson's fault. He can only say what the script orders him to, and the script doesn't really give anyone too much to work with. The betrayed hero of Vietnam is already a cliché, with his flashbacks and bitterness leading him into violence. In the course of the film, he is humanized by Zacarias ("Luz", great name). And once she understands the source of his torment she undergoes a kind of Mazatlan Syndrome and bonds with him.
There's something else that creeps into the story, or tries to, from time to time. There's religious imagery all over the place. And there's a good deal of talk about God and forgiveness. It simply doesn't hang together though. (The novel might have dealt with these questions a little more effectively.) The last time Glenn prayed was when he was being tortured by the Vietnamese, and he prayed for death. When God didn't answer, he gave up on God and believes God now reciprocates. Well, Luz still believes in forgiveness and she must have been right because that mountain cabin at the end is sure idyllic.
I really liked the movie. I have seen it several times. I liked the interaction between the main characters: the hit-man approaching the end of his career and full of flaws; the beautiful young woman with a questionable past; and the aging American hard on his luck.
I found myself hoping that they would make it.
Although I would have preferred younger males in the lead roles--I can see where having them older works.
This movie is pure Hollywood fiction (based on a novel), where we have a hit-man who is: understanding, kind, sensitive, empathetic to the heroine, yet tough enough to handle any threatening situation that turns up.
The heroine is the beautiful Mexican actress, Giovanna Zacarias. In this film, she's got two men who are interested in her. One is down on his luck writer, Danny Pastor (Craig Wasson) who tends to fly off the handle a bit at times and get overly emotional during tense situations, and the super cool, super bad Clayton Price,(Scott Glenn) a dangerous hit-man.
Following some killings Clayton does, he needs a ride out of Mexico to the U.S. border and he's got the bucks to tempt Danny Pastor into taking him. At the last moment, Luz (Giovanna), Danny's sort of girlfriend/sort of hooker, decides to go with them.
In addition to the three above characters, we've also got Walter McGrane (Harvey Keitel), a government man and his young trainee. Harvey did so well in this role, I positively hated Walter McGrane with a passion! All of the cast did top notch performances in this film, the story is tight as well, along with lots of suspense and some unexpected turns in the tale.
I highly recommend it.
The music score is magnificent, especially the opening theme. Would someone help me identify it? it is reminiscent of "La Golondrina".
And the movie offers a rare opportunity to hear and see Vikki Carr.
i would like to obtain a copy of the soundtrack. does someone know if it is available?
The film is unbelievable, very predictable and cliché. The only thing that might make it slightly appealing is the selection of locations on which it's been shot. In my humble opinion: don't waste your time on this one.
It starts well enough, but quickly struggles and dies.
The eventual relationship twist is badly set up and difficult to believe. An absence of passion, and essentially no reasoning behind her leaving one man for the other, made it ridiculous - and the ending was predictable and dull.
Harvey Keitel is the US agent on the hit-man's trail, but he seems a little confused as to how boring and slow the script is...