By Liz Lopez

Rating: B

On April 22nd, the bilingual feature film, Compadres, had a theatrical release in the United States and when it opened in Austin, it was not screened for all film critics. Pantelion Films may have allowed one critic to screen it for only one outlet locally, as far as I can tell. Most of the Pantelion Films are not screened ahead of time and I make the most of viewing them in the theater with a friend of mine who also enjoys viewing the films they distribute. To my surprise, unlike the film we went to see late February, the theater had a sizeable audience for a Tuesday afternoon and my “favorite” seating area was already taken.

Directed by Enrique Begne (Busco novio para mi mujer), Compadres is a bilingual film with subtitles in both English and Spanish so it makes it easier for more audiences to follow, especially if they are not as fluent as they would like to be in either language. The film written by Ted Perkins and Gabriel Ripstein (Busco novio para mi mujer, Pulling Strings) is definitely not the most original of action, adventure and comedy films, but it is entertaining. I won’t go as far as calling it all predictable, but the theme of moving money from one country to another is not new, nor is the story of having corrupt cops on the force. We have seen it one too many times in Hollywood films and that is fine. I just happen to like this one that has a little humor in it, and in this one, the truth may be stretched a little bit about border crossings and getting away from extremely bad guys. I highly recommend this film for a good matinee and definitely on the special price days at a local theater near you.

The star of the film is Omar Chaparro (Suave Patria, Pulling Strings) who portrays a long term single law enforcement lieutenant in Mexico known as Garza. After the death of his partner while working on a money laundering case, he meets Maria (Aislinn Derbéz) who he falls head over heels for. Shortly after, Santos (Erick Elias) and his thugs have kidnapped her and he is framed him for a crime he didn’t commit. He has to find a way to get out of prison, with the help of his former boss Coronado (José Sefami), as he is on a quest to get her back alive and bring down Santos’ network, including Tex the Banker (Kevin Pollak) and others involved in it. In search of the “accountant” in San Diego who took more than his share, Garza connects with a young nerd, Vic (Joey Morgan) to help him navigate his way to locate the links to Santos’ stash. The only thing is, they have to stay steps ahead of thugs working for Santos who also want anyone who can get their hands on the “key.”

Eric Roberts has a small role as an FBI agent, Dalton, and Evan Henderson portrays Dalton’s partner. The film boasts of many Mexican film actors, including Héctor Jiménez as Guasa; Camila Sodi        as Emilia; Armando Hernández as             Payaso; Alejandra Guilmant as Valeria and an uncredited Joaquin Cosio (Lone Ranger).

Rating:  R (for violence and language) Runtime: 1 hr. 50 min.

Source: Pantelion Films, Draco Films, IMDb

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