22 October 2004 | Pursewarden
This is probably the first Mexican urban thriller that doesn't fall into goofyness or folkloric gags to keep the audience in. The director doesn't go for joking himself out of horrible situations, they stand as serious as a political execution. Its a hard movie, with a terrible subject and a wonderful realization. OK, its portrait of Mexico fits more a decade ago, but that's not a problem in a narrative full of corruption, souless souls, great dialogues, creepy characters and horrible situations. The political game hasn't been shown as fully since the wonderful HEROD'S LAW. One of the movie's asset is the way the narrative focuses in many characters, jumping from one site to the other to build up suspense. The whole English setting could have been easily a cheapy, instead the production work it carefully to provide it with something all recent Mexican urban thrillers lack: verosimilitude. If the worst problems this movie has are in some production values, the acting and the screenplay are worth it. Even if Jesus Ochoa plays the same role he does so well, this portrait is probably his finest (just compare to the shallow cardboard he played in MAN ON FIRE), he is creepy and somehow likable. When a "first world" citizen looks for refuge in his own country's embassy just to get a "huy mam, come back tomorrow at eight" from a night watchman, you get a glimpse at the director's good eye for the reality touch. One of Mexico's best of this year.