The Coronado DVD was for sale very cheaply in one of the Danish department store chains, so I bought it. I have to say I'm pretty happy with it.
For one thing - the main thing, actually -, it stars Kristin Datillo. I haven't seen the Chris Isaak Show that has apparently made her something of a household name, but I saw her on Hull High, a 1990 TV series, and never forgot about her. I didn't even know what her name was until I got this DVD, so that was a very positive surprise. She's fabulous. Very strong on both looks and personality. And she fits this movie incredibly well, because there is a red thread of subtle self-irony that goes all the way through this movie, and Datillo has the same sort of attitude, while at the same time being a serious and convincing actress and giving a very cool performance.
The extra material on the DVD clarifies how incredibly far the producers stretched the budget, getting a grand, epic and expensive-looking movie out of a meager budget, a lot of well-done computer and miniature prop effects, and a cheap on-location shoot in Mexico ($30 to have a train speeding by: they bought the train drivers lunch!). Very impressive! Considering how difficult it is for the actors to pretend that they're in completely different situations than they really are, the performances given must be said to be all-round excellent.
The movie itself, storywise, isn't much. For a long time, there is *no plot* other than Datillo's character running around looking for her fiancé. As they get embroiled in a central-American revolution (with both sides getting weapons supplied by the U.S.), the plot picks up somewhat, but remains an excuse for the SFX. Technically, it's an interesting package, but the story really is quite weak. It is saved by Datillo's charisma and the genuinely suspenseful and impressive-looking action scenes. It ends on a kind of critical note in terms of U.S. foreign policy, as the rebels are abandoned by their U.S. weapons dealers (who decide to back the other side), but manage to seize power anyway, thus bringing a more democratic government to the country instead of a U.S. controlled puppet government.
All in all, this movie is (and was most likely made as) a study of just how impressive a special-effects spectacular can be created from a very small budget ($4.7 million), and as such it is quite successful. The DVD cover even claims that it looks like a $100 million movie, which in fact is almost true.
6 out of 10.
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