By Liz Lopez
In the fall of 2007, audiences in the United States were introduced to the Spanish language feature film, Ladrón que roba a ladrón (Thieves Who Rob Thieves), directed by Joe Menendez and written by JoJo Henrickson. It has a huge draw featuring several Latin American telenovela and film heart throbs including Fernando Colunga, Miguel Varoni, Saúl Lisazo (who I like to say reminds me of George Clooney), Oscar Torre, Gabriel Soto, among many, many other stars. Menendez, of late, has directed several episodes of El Rey Network’s From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, among other television series. He returns to the big screen helming the action-comedy film Ladrones (Thieves), based on a screenplay written by Jon Molerio, who also plays the part of Carlos.
In Ladrones, we find two of the do-gooder thieves are somewhat retired, or at least, not in the game full time anymore after helping Latino immigrants in the U.S. who were being mislead by an infomercial guru. Alejandro Toledo (Fernando Colunga) is a businessman and Emilio Sánchez (Miguel Varoni) is an FBI man. Although Sánchez won’t join Toledo in his new quest for justice, but he certainly has no problem making introductions or suggestions from afar. The skilled thief, Santiago Guzmán (Eduardo Yáñez) is reluctant to be involved at first, but comes around to learn the value of helping with this mission. Although the story is a bit stretched for credibility in a few of the law enforcement scenes or a bit predictable when the leads are compared to “Robin Hood,” I find it generally entertaining and very humorous in some scenes. Perhaps not all audiences will get the humor, but it will be enjoyable for the target audience.
What did surprise me about this script was the focus on Texas residents who want to reclaim the land stolen from their ancestors. In a stroke of luck while gardening, some buried documents are found to prove the rightful land owners. The local law enforcement staff also reports to the heirs of the thieves who murdered and took over the land. In a fight for justice, the rag – tag team plans a heist led by Toledo and Guzmán to stop Miranda Kilroy (Jessica Lindsey) and her thugs from wiping out their history.
Vadhir Derbéz, son of actor Eugenio Derbéz (Instuctions Not Included) and brother to Aislinn (A la mala), has many television credits to his name and now appears to make the transition to the big screen with his performance as Ray in Ladrones. His character brings some comedy to the film and it is no surprise to me to see him follow his father’s footsteps.
The film is rated PG-13 and opens in U.S. theaters October 9th.