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Ladrón que roba a ladrón 2 unites Latin American superstars Fernando Colunga and Eduardo Yañez in an unforgettable non-stop action comedy that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime. Their mission? To reclaim land stolen from a humble, hardworking community by a beautiful but lethal diva and her team of thieves. Forced out of retirement, Colunga and Yañez must recruit their new team of "Robin Hoods" to perform the biggest heist of their careers.
"Ladrones" is a simple, cross-cultural fun for the whole family.
If you got past the title of this movie and are still reading this review, that probably means you're at least open to the idea of seeing a Latin American movie. Good for you especially if you're not Hispanic or don't speak Spanish. There are treasures to be discovered in south-of-the-border movies and they are treasures that many people miss because they're not willing to look to other cultures for entertainment possibilities. 2015 brought to American movie theaters thoroughly enjoyable Mexican films like "Buen Dia, Ramon" ("Good Day, Ramon", a Mexican-German co-production, also known as "Guten Tag, Ramon"), the romantic comedy "A la mala" and the derivative, but still enjoyable animated comedy "Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos" ("A Rooster with Many Eggs"), as well as Argentinian films like the romantic comedy "El crítico" ("The Movie Critic") and the darkly comedic Argentinian anthology "Wild Tales" along with the chilling Venezuelan horror mystery "La casa del fin de los tiempos" ("The House at the End of Time"). Add "Ladrones" (PG-13, 1:38) to the list of 2015's best Latin American cinematic exports.
Ladrones is the Spanish word for thieves. The movie is the sequel to 2007's "Ladron Que Roba a Ladron" ("To Rob a Thief") and gives us another Robin Hood-like adventure comedy in which legendary thief Alejandro Toledo (Fernando Colunga) uses his particular set of skills to right economic wrongs for some fellow Mexicans. In the sequel, Emilio Sánchez (Miguel Varoni), Alejandro's partner in the first film, is on the other side of the law-and-order equation working for the FBI. That doesn't mean that he's no longer sympathetic to his old friend's activities, but he can no longer take part. The best he can do is turning a blind eye and recommending a mutual acquaintance named Santiago Guzmán (Eduardo Yáñez). (This is the first time that Latin American superstars Colunga and Yáñez have appeared on screen together.) When the Mexican War ended in 1848, the victorious U.S. seized northern Mexican territory stretching from modern-day California to Texas. Mexican landowners north of the Rio Grande River who wanted to continue living and working in Texas had to prove their ownership of the land. Mexican rancher Juan Ramirez showed his land grant deed to the authorities and then buried it in the desert along with the deeds that his neighbors asked him to keep safe for them. American settler and gang leader Ned Kilroy kills Ramirez for his land and the secret of where he buried the deeds dies with him. The bad blood between the two families bubbles back to the surface 166 years later when Juan Rodriguez' descendant, Josefa (Carmen Beato) discovers the deeds buried on her land and Miranda Kilroy (Jessica Lindsey) sends her henchman Rex (Frank Perozo) to the Ramirez home to steal the deeds and insure her family's claims.
Josefa's daughter, Jackie (Cristina Rodlo) seeks out the famous Alejandro to request his help. He agrees to come out of criminal retirement to steal back the deeds and convinces similarly retired Santiago Guzmán to step away from his shady business ventures to help out, in spite of the objections of Santiago's wife, Magda (Michelle González). Next, Alejandro and Santiago do what Alejandro and Emilio did in the first film gather a group of amateurs whom they hope will be able to fly under the radar as they execute their plan. They actually hold auditions from among the Ramirez family and their friends in order to build the caper around the unique talents of the individuals they choose.
This process brings together a motley crew that ranges from smart and resourceful to just very enthusiastic. Alejandro and Santiago's gang starts with Josefa, a gardener and former scientist, and Jackie, who's a whiz at computers. They're joined by Jackie's sweet, but clumsy boyfriend, Ray (Vadhir Derbez), who insists that he's "impervious to pain", bad actor, Miguelito (Oscar Torre), self-proclaimed spiritualist, Maria Elena (Nashla Bogaert) and ditzy hot girl, Tina (Gabriela Perez). This is the crew that Alejandro and Santiago hope can pull off their version of the crime of the century, Robin Hood style.
"Ladrones" is a light, but very satisfying movie. The actors are well-cast and their characters are likable (except for those who we're not supposed to like). The script is simple, but sometimes pretty clever and often very funny. (The director is Joe Menendez, who also directed the first film and this sequel's screenwriter is Jon Molerio, who also appears in the film as Miranda's comically inept head of security.) It's a real pleasure to watch this humorous Hispanic version of the "Ocean's 11" crew prepare for their mission and attempt to carry out the plan. This movie lacks the intense violence, foul language and overt sexuality of similar movies, making "Ladrones" cross-cultural fun for the whole family. "B+"
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