7 January 2015 | MartinHafer
Not nearly as fun as I'd hoped.
I have reviewed a huge number of films--many of which are artsy foreign films. However, after seeing a film from the Criterion Collection or some independent films I occasionally try to look for a bad film. Now I do not mean a film that is boring but one that is so incredibly poorly made that it's good for a laugh. Some great examples are "The Apple", "The Room" or "Rock and Roll Nightmare"-- films whose ineptness cannot help but elicit a giggle. But I also have enjoyed some of the Mexican bad films--ones that are perhaps even goofier than the ones I just listed. The Aztec mummy and luchador films clearly are incredibly goofy and dumb--and are nearly always good for a laugh. So, when I found "Los Leones del Ring" on Netflix, I was thrilled. After all, I adore the movies of el Santo- -the masked crime and monster fighting superhero of the 60s and 70s. Imagine a masked guy who NEVER takes off his silver mask (even when he showers or makes love to a woman) and also fights the likes of Dracula or Martians in order to save mankind!! I was sure expecting this with "Los Leones" but sadly it tended to be bad but not in an enjoyable way.
The film stars Jorge Rivero as identical twins, Mario and Luis. I have no idea if Rivero wrestled in real life--but in this movie he really didn't do much. In fact, you see lots of other folks wrestling--much more than you'd normally see in any luchador film. My youngest daughter didn't mind that Rivero's wrestling skills were suspect--she was just extremely enamored with his gorgeous hunky body! I clearly remember he walking by the TV and exclaiming "Wow...he's beautiful!".
After watching the film, I realized that it's really basically only half a movie padded with TONS of wrestling. And, sadly, it's pretty dull stuff. Bad, yes, but also pretty dull.
The plot, such as it is, involves the Mafia fixing wrestling matches and making a fortune by gambling on these matches. Perhaps Mexican audiences of the 1970s actually believed that their matches were not fixed--but today the plot just seems ludicrous. The problem is that the hunky Rivero really isn't well integrated into the plot--and in many ways it looks almost like he was just inserted into a few scenes instead of actually being the leading man.
The bottom line is that this is a bad film--but not a campy and fun bad film. In fact, what's even worse is that the movie ends pretty much in the middle of the story--necessitating the viewer to then watch "Los Leones del Ring Contra la Cosa Nostra". Frankly, the film was so dull that I don't feel an overwhelming need to see the conclusion.