Hector, a young Mexican national and border-crossing migrant farm laborer, has boxing abilities just like his late father had. He could perhaps be good if he learned to think along with his pummeling, then he could do better for his ailing mother than pull in a few side dollars from small-time, illegal gambling fights. Getting on the bad side of racist Texas farmer Big Al and his cocky, pugilist son Robert, puts Hector in touch with an alcoholic trainer named Billy who, nevertheless, can teach him to be better. It all comes down to an arranged, high-stakes match between Hector and the 20-pounds more muscular Robert in which Hector's only hope is to demonstrate he can keep his head in the game. Written by
The old guys - Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali - you know what set those guys apart from the rest of the boxing world? Brains. A chump don't become champ without 'em.
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I'd heard that "From Mexico with Love" had been called the Mexican answer to "Rocky", so it went straight on my list of films to see. I was glad it did.
Kuno Becker plays Hector, a cotton-picking teenager who makes a meager wage working for the cruel landowner Big Al (Stephen Lang). One day Hector stumbles upon Big Al's son boxing, and Hector gets in the ring. Throughout the film, Hector's boxing career grows with the help of his trainer Billy (Bruce McGill).
FMwL brings nothing new to the tired genre of boxing, but its simple magic through actors like McGill and Becker that make it stand out as a fine independent addition. McGill is truly exceptional, showing us yet again that he is criminally underrated. Stephen Bauer and Stephen Lang turn in great performances as well, and Becker more than holds his own on-screen with actors like this.
A very well-done drama that would make a fine Saturday-afternoon viewing with the family.
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