By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
For the opening night film, the 18th annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival began with an English language comedy that had the audience laughing at the silly hysterics taking place on the big screen. Written by Enrico Natale and directed by Demetrius Navarro, The Martini Shot delivers absurdity, silliness, Hollywood satire, screwball comedy and just an all around good time. Not all of the humor works, some of it being a little too over-the-top, but enough does to make this movie enjoyable and worth watching.
Having produced three bombs so far, Dee (Navarro) and Rico (Natale) are desperate to make a box office smash. Their executive producer Mr. Langdon (James Russo) is willing to give the guys one more chance; however, this time, he intends to collect his cut regardless of the receipts. Not completely confident that their latest project, an action film, will succeed, Dee and Rico decide to have one of their lead actors killed, which they believe will guarantee instant success.
The film starts out a bit rough in that the comedy doesn’t quite hit its marks at first, but as the film and story progressed, I found myself smiling and laughing more and more. Navarro and Natale not only prove themselves as filmmakers, they also offer solid performances in the lead roles. The budget of the film is obvious, but doesn’t distract from the enjoyment of the film. In addition to the leads, supporting actors Robert Lujan and John Hennigan stand out with some hilariously kooky performances. These two actors definitely have bright futures in comedy. Their antics and the antics of the other cast members, including Valente Rodriguez (The George Lopez Show) helped bring Cine Las Americas to a bright and ebullient start.