23 June 2014 | Red-Barracuda
A trip to Mexico
The story begins with an old Texan having to leave the ranch he has lived in his whole life, at the same moment he is suddenly introduced to a grandson he has never met before. They go off on a jaunt to Mexico where they end up hooking up with another lost soul, a singing stripper. Complicating matters considerably is the fact that they have inadvertently come into possession of a bag containing $150,000 - some violent criminals pursue them for this.
The chief draw of A Night in Old Mexico is the presence of veteran actor Robert Duvall. He certainly shows here that he still remains a very capable actor. It's a pity then that this film doesn't have a stronger storyline for Duvall to work off. It's effectively an odd couple movie, with a crime strand underpinning it. The first part works to a certain extent – Duvall's acting is good and the dialogue is often well written – but the dynamics between the three characters often seem a little forced, in particular it's quite hard really believing in the motivations of the Latina stripper character. The crime story, while fairly generic, does offer some potential excitement but it doesn't necessarily play out in such a way as to actually provide too much. Perhaps this is a good thing in some respects as it means that the film is maybe taking a different course to what you might typically expect. Whatever the case, the criminals operate in the background of the story and bump one and other off and they never really seem to pose that much of a threat to our heroes, which does dissipate the potential tension this could have created.
The location used by the story was pretty interesting though. The story takes place during the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday celebration. The purpose of which is to gather people together to pray for and remember friends and family who have died. This of course parallels the storyline of the film itself really well. Not only this but the strange skull-like masks worn by the townspeople as part of this celebration make for a somewhat memorable backdrop to proceedings, giving the film a nice distinctive feeling in this area. It's the specifically Mexican flavours that for the most part offer the best things about this flick.