Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A gruesome drama

186 DOLLARS TO FREEDOM (2012)

Produced By: Four Fish Films and others
Director: Camilo Vila
Starring: John Robinson, Michael DeLorenzo, Alex Meraz, Johnny Lewis, and others
Pros: Good story, strong acting
Cons: Peters out in the end, slow
Rating: *** of 5 (3 of 5)

Far away from the usual tales of coming-of-age or giant robots that are my staple, here was one movie that packed in a huge dollop of suspense and drama, ending most unfortunately as a dud. 186 Dollars of Freedom, supposedly based on a true story, explores the story of an American trapped in the corrupt and brutal Peruvian 'justice' system. Our main character, in turn, oscillated between naive white American and resourceful, street-smart man.

True or not, the story is indeed good, and is reminiscent of other top prison movies. And despite the taciturn nature of the characters (intended or otherwise), the acting was quite good. However, like most movies, the story wanes towards the end, with a series of coincidences working in favor of the protagonist, leaving much to be desired. Moreover, the ending and the rest of the story had very little in common, so it could've ended much sooner and yet stretched out far too long. A movie that could've been so much better, but just imploded. (OTFS)

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