They came. They saw. They took it all. The rule among criminals is don't steal from your own kind. But extreme situations call for extreme measures. And so it goes that a bunch of thieves decide to rob one of the best in the business. The challenge is immense and the rewards great...if they can pull it off.
Do not blame us for thinking that we are watching the Spanish version of Steven Soderberg’s stylish heist flick series Ocean’s 11-13. Well, this is what Hollywood does to you – they bombard you with their popularity and anything that slightly resembles the products churned out in Tinseltown, you’d think of the big budgeted movies boasting of a star studded cast and shot in American English before anything else. About 15 minutes into this 98 minute movie, we were already thinking of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and the other pretty boys in Soderberg’s series. But no, we shall not present ourselves as unthinking Hollywood suckers, so we continued watching this Joe Menendez directed picture about two former thieves reuniting to rob another thief.
The movie begins with a Colombian con man arriving in America, with all but two weeks to execute a plan to rob his former colleague who is making money by (pay attention to this because it’s really original in our opinion) using infomercials to smuggle snake oil to immigrants. From here, a team of amateurs made up of immigrants is formed. With this motley crew in place, you can expect comedy flashed out in style, and maybe some hot Spanish action thrown in?
Do not blame us for thinking that we are watching the Spanish version of Soderberg’s movie, because once the characters are introduced one by one to illustrate their skills and personalities, we can’t help but think that the picture is presented in a standard Hollywood style. From there, you know that the action comedy will proceed with the standard mode of the thieves getting themselves into sticky situations, getting themselves out of these sticky situations, and ultimately getting what they want at the end of the day, by pulling a few fast tricks here and there. And yes, these thieves range from the hunky, the pretty, and the goofy to the comedic. Whatever you were expecting from a stylish heist flick, you will get them here (nice dresses and suits included).
But do not diss this movie as a forgettable one yet because there are some chic and classy moments which are probably a joy to watch because of the language of the picture. Imagine, the foreign Spanish language is already very suave sounding to the ears, cue an exotically charming music score to this and a debonair cast – the mix is a pleasure to the senses, definitely. Although the cast (Fernando Colunga, Miguel varoni and Gabriel Soto, anyone?) are not familiar names in this part of the world, you can expect them to deliver equally engaging performances as Clooney, Pitt and Damon.
Oops, there we go, comparing this movie with Soderberg’s movie again.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains an Audio Commentary with Director Joe Menendez and Writer/Actor JoJo Henrickson where the two men talk engagingly about the conceptualisations of the different scenes. They talk about how long shots help to get actors to perform to their fullest. Don’t worry – this commentary is in English.
The Making of Ladron Que Roba A Ladron is a 13 minute featurette where we hear how the filmmakers talk about how a commercial Hollywood Latino movie should be – interesting fusion, we’d say. In the three minute Making of the Score with Composer Andres Levin, we go into the recording studio where the band performs catchy melodies to go with the movie’s stylish visuals. There are, gasp, 24 Deleted Scenes with Optional Filmmaker Commentary totalling 22 minutes included on the disc as well.
The disc’s visual transfer is clear, while the movie is presented in its original Spanish audio track.
by John Li
Posted on 6 June 2009