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I was just partially prepared for this gritty thriller, so I am warning
you in time to get ready for it to maximize your enjoyment. This is
another gut-buster coming to us from sunny Spain, in case you missed it
the first one is Mientras Duermes, and this just goes to show you that
no matter what Hollywood decides to do to cinema, there will be always
other countries to step up. This vibrant noir movie is just too cool,
and the reason for that is Santos Trinidad masterfully played by José
Coronado. While the American take on your average alcoholic, corrupt
and dangerous detective set the standards, Jose took it to another
level with his believable acting, right appearance and that crazy look
in his eyes is the thing that completes the whole image. These are the
guys that you don't wanna see or have anything to do in real life, but
secretly fantasize about being them or hanging out with them.
The director did not hold back, and once again we can enjoy in this glass of whiskey that is not watered down or with ice. The taste that this movie leaves is that one of bitterness of life, wrong choices and the those moments of perfect clarity where you can actually feel alive and meaningful. Just beautiful.... And gripping, from the beginning to the end, this movie will hold your attention and let it go just for brief moments that are to be used to light up another cigar or pour another shot of whiskey (well, I guess any alcohol will do). One more thing I found very interesting and that is that upon viewing this movie Sylvester Stallone immediately bought the rights and expressed desire to make an American version (with him in the lead role, no doubt)
Using the actual events of 2004 Madrid train bombings, No Rest for the Wicked further develops this story, from the eyes of one Santos Trinidad. Santos Trinidad is a bad man, a police detective who likes to drink, gamble, misuse his authority and all the fun things that we would do, if, of course, life was a video game. He comes alive at night and as an alcoholic vampire prowls the streets and strip clubs looking for trouble, life and death. One of those visits, will prove to be a very important one as he accidentally stumbles on something much, much bigger than the usual sleaze that you would expect in a nightclub. Not to reveal too much (again, but what can I do when the movie is that good...), I will leave you with this, enjoy this phenomenal movie...
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Madrid, early twenty-first century. One day, the police inspector
"Santos Trinidad", coming home very drunk, was involved in a triple
murder. But there is a witness who manages to escape and could
incriminate him. "Santos" undertook an investigation to locate and
eliminate the witness. Meanwhile, Judge "Chacon", charged with
investigating the triple murder, meticulously advances in the search of
the murderer until he discovers that what seemed a simple case of drug
trafficking is actually something far more dangerous.
A film that grabs you from start to finish, beginning with a really brutal and a masterful performance by Jose Coronado, Director Enrique Urbizu, I think is his best film surpassing even "La caja 507" another great film. It is one of the best noir cinema that have been made in Spain, is a fast paced thriller that keeps you in suspense from beginning to the ending of the film, masterfully directed and performed by all actors, especially Coronado (reminiscent the character of "Malamadre" (Luis Tosar), in "Celda 211" makes his character get too excited "Santos Trinidad" with his bitterness, and loneliness sloppiness mark you, keep you from the excitement and surprise to the outcome as powerful and disturbing history, very well filmed and narrated.
Jose Coronado is simply superb, able to make a character icon in the figure of "Santos Trinidad", the Christian cross with his chest and his peculiar name, seems to remember times of the Crusades and the Templars. "Trinidad" is a character cold, wild, seen it all but still able to wring a few smiles with his sharp irony. The cast gets a credible performances and nuanced that enrich the film, as in the scene in which Judge "Chacon" gets the call from her husband in the eyes of his fellow "Leiva".
In short, a highly recommended film, that which fills more than expectation. Above all, it smells of sweat and alcohol on all four sides.
There is no man more dangerous than a man with facial hair and a
shotgun , this is a lesson American learned in the 1970s thanks to
Charles Bronson and Enrique Urbizu clearly never forgot and as he
demonstrates it in ¨No Peace For The Wicked¨ (No Habra Paz Para Los
Malvados) . It deals with a burned-out cop named Santos Trinidad
becomes involved a triple murder but there is a witness that manages to
getaway . Meantime, Judge Chacon (the singer Helena Miguel in his
second acting) helped by Comisario Leiva (Juanjo Artero) are
investigating the murders, but what seems to be a case of killing spree
, actually is something far more dangerous . Santos attempts to
eliminate clues but in the process , he uncovers an Islamist cell
scheming diabolic plans .
The comeback of one of the most gripping Spanish film noir directors after an eight year absence . Urbizu is the director of No Peace For The Wicked (No Habra Paz Para Los Malvados), an upcoming 'tough cop with big gun' movie coming out of Spain . From start to finish action-packed , fast-paced ,thrills , emotion and suspense is continuous . It is one of the best noir film that have been realized in Spain, is a thriller that keeps you interested and expecting . José Coronado, Rodolfo Sancho, and Helena Miquel star in the sort of story we've seen many times before - a police inspector is part of a shootout that leaves three people dead and the suspect on the run, thereby casting suspicion on himself - but one that is always fun when executed with style and Urbizu certainly seems to have that. Jose Coronado is simply awesome , he steals the show as a veteran and violent police with dark secrets , furthermore a good support cast as Rodolfo Sancho, son of recently deceased Sancho Gracia and Pedro Mari Sanchez , an actor working from his childhood as well as Juanjo Artero of ¨Verano Azul¨. The motion picture was professionally directed by Enrique Urbizu . He is an expert on Thriller as proved in ¨Todo Por la Pasta¨, ¨Caja 507¨ and on comedy such as ¨Cuernos Mujer¨, ¨Como Ser Infeliz¨ and ¨Tu Novia esta Loca¨.
No Rest for the Wicked gained various winners for the 2012 Goya Awards , as the 26th Annual Goya Awards , presented by the Academia De las Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas De España (Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences), is "Spain's main national film awards, considered by many in Spain, and internationally, to be the Spanish equivalent of the American Academy Awards ; it won : Director Enrique Urbizu ,Original Screenplay for Enrique Urbizu and Michel Gaztambide, and Adapted Screenplay . Rating : Good , a highly recommended picture , worthwhile seeing .
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film transits common places without having anything new to say
except that it urgently wants to up the grittiness ante -- which, much
to my annoyance, it seldom succeeded in doing. This is a film that
desperately wants to pull all stops in bleakness and wholesale
desperation, and in filmmaking the last thing you should do is having
the audience notice your intentions beforehand. A project of this sort
demanded a director with more guts and nothing to lose and Urbizu
doesn't seem to be the man.
Coronado's job is excellent but it cannot rescue this film on its own from a comfortable zone of correct mediocrity. His fatalistic mien, coupled with a devil-may-care nihilism and a teeming rage which his character makes little effort in choking back, makes him altogether a train wreck waiting to happen.
And happen it does, but the rest of the film falls short of his performance. Urbizu's style still needs a lot of polishing. Dialogues still seem forced and theatrical to the point of haphazard, totally at odds with the naturalistic tone his protagonists demand. Supporting characters are either poorly developed or handed out to the wrong actors: Juanjo Artero just switches the automatic pilot on his TV police procedural role, and Helena Miquel may be a very good singer but is totally out of place in a "serious" film project such as this.
The film's middle part is protracted to the point of boredom. It ends up leaving more things unexplained than it should care to, and eventually sacrifices whatever interest the audience might have for the characters in the altar of narrative sparsity. It does throw the barbs at institutional incompetence we would expect considering its subject matter, but the tameness with which it does betrays the overall bitterness deliberately pursued by the project.
The terrorist subplot is omnipresent though not overbearing; it is, however, ostensibly calculated to give the film the extra mileage worth of "cinema vérité" bleakness and tragic tone which character development alone seemed unable to achieve. In that respect, it seems aimed at boosting the film's appeal to the audience, and as such it verges on the exploitative. From the artistic point of view, Urbizu didn't need such a cheap ancillary plot device, but I understand it will pay off for him commercially.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is so good; that I will start with the bad things. The only
reason I did not give this movie a 10/10 is because somewhere in the
middle, the pace slows down and drags for about 10 minutes. I assume
the director was aware but wanted this in order to set up a particular
mood. In my opinion he could get there another ways, achieving the same
The story is different from what you usually expect. A very drunken cop in what apparently is a personal crisis, kills three people in a moment of rage; but a witness gets away. As the victims are from Colombia, the case is related to drugs and an ambitious judge tries to get to the bottom of the issue which soon is also linked to terrorism. In the meantime, our drunken cop is dealing with his internal demons while looking for the witness that can recognize him and avoiding the judge (and his companions) to relate him with the crime.
Jose Coronado plays Trinidad. He is almost every scene in the movie. He is so good and his presence so strong that when he is not in the scene, is like something is missing. He is not a good person but we are never clear if he really is bad. We get glimpses of his past but never a clear account of what happened. It is to the viewers to figure it out and make the proper judgments.
The rest of the cast is not bad but no character has a deeper development than Trinidad so they are all just secondary characters within his tale.
This is not the American thriller. There is no redemption, not even a will on doing a good deed. This is a tale of survival within a society and a justice system which is just a big mess. The action is located in Spain but could apply to USA and in many other countries.
"No Rest for the Wicked" (2011) is an interesting story, with a
standout performance from its lead actor, Jose Coronado. Crime story
and neo-noir fans will definitely want to see this movie for this
performance alone, for the psychology of the character that he plays
and for its realism. It is said to be based on the 2004 Madrid
bombings, but it is definitely not a retelling of that plot and its
outcome. Its only connection to that is in making a large-scale terror
plot a focal point of the story and Coronado's quest.
Coronado plays a cop who had an outstanding record but was relegated to trivial missing persons work after an incident in which his partner was shot and he took the blame for it. What actually happened we are not told, but it was in the course of them killing some drug king pins in Colombia. Now, Coronado is alcoholic, a loner, and a man with rage and a very short fuse. The film opens in a bar after hours in which he ends up shooting and killing three people. One drew a gun on him. The others had no weapons. Coronado then covers up his crime, but there is a man hidden upstairs who escapes. Coronado uses the videos of this man to try to locate this man, who was doing a drug deal. Coronado may even have known about the drug linkages of two of his victims before he went to this bar. This search for the criminal witness leads him to bigger prey, because this drug dealer is associating with terrorists. At the same time, there is a female judge who is overseeing the investigation of the people Coronado killed and she also is edging into this terrorism plot as well also as beginning to suspect Coronado. Bureaucratic fumbling, however, is slowing her down. Coronado is somewhat ahead. Coronado does not report what he's doing. He cannot do this without giving himself away. He also seems intent on redeeming himself by killing these terrorists, as he had killed in Colombia.
Much of the story is told through Coronado's eyes with a minimum of explanation. It becomes a classic detective kind of story as he follows leads, with the added element that he himself becomes a target of the police investigations running parallel to his.
Coronado is a big guy who can look very scary, like someone about to explode. He doesn't communicate that freely. He is way out there, beyond law. His values are what matter to him, and his interactions with his targets are not because of anything abstract or the law or duty, but his own guiding demons and compass. These and his past are what make him a driven man, plus a kind of fury at the bad guys.
A highly recommended film that fills more than expectations. A film that grabs you from start to finish. It is one of the best noir cinema that has been made in Spain, the kind of film that proves that a small story can be much more meaningful than a larger one. Jose Coronado is superb, cold, wild and credible. The cinematography is stark and bare, with only the soundtrack adding some effect. From an artistic standpoint, there were some plot elements and character developments I didn't think were totally needed. They do however drive the story, which seemed to be their purpose, so I can accept them. Nothing to laugh at. Heartfelt and riveting from the first frame to the last.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film has won the most important awards given by the Spanish film industry, the Goyas, for best film, best director and best main actor(among others). I had great expectations when I got the DVD. However, once the opening scene is over, the film becomes a dull and confusing chase between the main character, the psychotic policeman Santos Trinidad, and his nemesis the instruction judge Chacón and the straight policeman Leiva. There are too many characters to be remembered and the inclusion of the 2004 Madrid bombings plot is too accurate to the point of resulting vaguely ridiculous. The worse part of the film for me was the absolute lack of understanding of why this man behaves as he does, other than been an alcoholic and a loner. This character has been widely praised here, but to me is a completely flat , unidimensional rendering of a supposedly complex human being. No redeeming features at all, miles away from the Javier Bardem character in No country for old men , for instance. The idea that all immigrants in Spain are basically whores, drug traffickers, radical Islamic militants or terrorists is deeply unsettling. I doubt that this film would have found financing in France, the UK or the US, as it is basically highlighting a reactionary message of incompetence of the democratic institutions ( the law and order represented by the instruction judge and the clean policeman) to act against rampant drug trafficking, Islamic terrorism, and police corruption. To avoid disaster, we are only left to luck. I have already mentioned how poor is the Jose Coronado acting, but he is excellent compared to other crew members. Juanjo Artero is a very popular TV actor in Spain, whose rendition on his character is awful even by his own standards (there is a TV series here named El Barco, the boat, where he is the main character, wonderful laughing stock). The former young heartthrob Pedro Mari Sanchez comes back as the fat, spectacled and corrupt superintendent from the anti-terrorist unit. Age has changed him , but his acting skills remain extremely limited. Same goes to the female instruction judge, a beautiful but rigid and stiffened young woman called Helena Miguel. Perhaps she might be luckier next time if she gets the chance. In summary, a overpraised police film based on a confusing plot, unbelievable characters and terrible acting. I would mention that the general atmosphere of suburban contemporary Spain is well drawn. But the deep message of this superficial film is certainly very unsavory.
What could I add more than the other users have already done? They told everything about this authentic gem from Spain, dark, bleak, violent, speaking of a brutal, borderline cop for whom the audience may although feel empathy, no matter the evil side of this character. The first sequences of the killing in the bar are astounding. I won't repeat the scheme, but this could have pleased to Olivier Marchal, William Friedkin or David Ayer. The brutal cop character reminds me the film SHIELD FOR MURDER, starring Edmond O'Brien, made by Howard Koch in the fifties. In the future, I will watch out for further films from this director
Why can't America make movies like this? This is another fine foreign
mystery/thriller that, unlike American films, doesn't follow a simple
formula and takes time to build the mood and develop characters.This is
a much more effective method of building tension, rather than just
going for the easy money shots constantly.
Reviewers who can't follow the plot or who think there are a lot of unanswered questions, must not be very good at inference, since the entire movie ties up pretty much perfectly if you think about it, and I like movies that require a bit of thought.
About the only criticism I have of this movie is a general one, and that is that this movie, like so many other very well-made films nowadays, is really immersed in the dark side of life. This is likely a reflection of our times, but every now and then, I would like to see a really well-made realistic but less morally ambiguous film, something tilted a bit more towards the light than the dark.
Other than that, once you start watching this film, you just can't stop. It is really brilliant, compelling and original.
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