Feb 2, 2009

Talkin' about Movie Reviews: I HATED CHE

Che Guevara is one of the most recognized icons of Latin America. His face, looking upward like a true superhero has been on every poster and tshirt imaginable. Handsome, young... a true warrior. The thing is, to most generations, he is only known as that: an icon. Not much know about what he did or why he did it. So when Che came along, I thought, hey, this is a great way for people to know about his life.

Yyyyyyyyyeah right. This is one of those moments when I say: hang on to your 8 bucks friends. This is one movie that you might want to wait for it to run... not on HBO... on TNT or something else.

Yep, call me the asshole, I don't care. I know it has been getting rave reviews all over. Benicio del Toro is getting prizes left and right. Well, I put in my movie ticket allowance and found myself wanting to knit or yank my hair, strand by strand, instead of watching what I call a kind of boring video.

I mean... look. I saw the Motorcycle Diaries. Thought it was perfect. It showed us the true Che. From the beginning! We learned about his younger years, what he lived, what changed his world views, and what could and did cause his destiny. So that movie was great, dramatic, interesting, intelligent... a great flick. Now, the base was there. The next logical step was to take it further...

Logic, it seems, is nowhere to be found. As I watched and watched and watched, all I could think of was: where's the story? It lacks structure and in a big way. For me, it was like watching snippets of what happened to him, not well connected. This little thing happened here, that little thing happened there... Fidel... The Guerrilla... But... but... Give me a damn sructure! I don't care if you go backwards or jump time lapses, just give me anything that remotely resembles logic! Go from point a to b, I don't care how you do it, but explain to me why the fuck is he firing at people!

There were many moments when I thought... damn with a great screenwriter, this moment could have been golden. For example, when he meets Fidel for a nice chat about the revolution, all we get is superficial babble. Dammit! Here we have one of the greatest pairs in history and all you can give me is: yeah, we should do this shit? Revolution, dude... the best?

And I really don't get all the hoopla around Del Toro's acting. He has done better work, period. Usual Suspects' Fenster? Epic. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' Dr. Gonzo? Amazing shit on film. This Che is great, but there are many other great acting moments that top his Che, any day of the week.

For me the problem lies around directing, editing and screenwriting. Yeah, the big three. Directing because there are no bones and ligaments enough in this world to make this movie stand up straight. It curves in all the wrong places and the director should know better. Editing because... it was cut, cut, cut overload. That movie was sliced so much I even started bleeding through my nose. Cut the movie too fast when it doesn't need it and you have a real problem of normal human beings trying to make sense of it all. Screenwriting? Oh yes I have made my point a couple of times during this post. What else can I say about the script? Well... give me a reason. Tell me why Che is thinking this or doing that. Backtrack a bit. Give me an insight. Don't think that because I saw the Motorcycle Diaries I should be up to date on Che's feelings or point of view.

I honestly cannot for the life of me watch the second part. Wait, wait. I know that in order to review a movie I have to watch it in its entirety. But honestly, let me put it this way: imagine for a second that I am in deep shit, captured by Fidel himself in the jungle and I have a gun to my head. Watch the second part or I get it square in the head?

I would say... FIRE!


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