Director: Axel Uriegas
Stars: Irineo Alvarez, José Sefami, Kristoff Raczynski
Chapo: El Escape Del Siglo is a movie based on real events that recounts the prison escape of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzmân Loera, aka El Chapo. Sounds interesting right? With Netflix giving us brilliant series adaptations of Crime based dramas in “El Chapo” and “Narcos” I have to admit I was intrigued by this production and see how it would differ from the television version of the same story.
This is one of those cases where we live in an age where television isn’t the poorer relation of film anymore and more and more Hollywood actors are plying their trade in great television productions. We are now in a place where television can compete with film to a degree and the proof is in the pudding with this Mexican version of an episode of “Matlock”. Running in at just over 90 minutes I really did wonder how they could drag this out that long after the first 30 minutes.
I’m trying my best not to compare the television series “El Chapo” which had a compelling storyline with action sequences that some Hollywood productions would be jealous of. Chapo: El Escape Del Siglo staggers over the finishing line with a very slow paced feel to it. The movie is mostly dialogue based and the less said about the acting the better. Was it the acting though? Was it the badly scripted dialogue? Personally I felt it was a combination of both.
The production quality is another issue. It looks and feels like it was made using poor equipment and I don’t believe for a moment this was the style Director Axel Uriegas was going for unfortunately. If I was being kind I would say it is a low budget independent film but I have reviewed a lot of low budget independent films and to class this production with those other films is doing them an injustice. The scenes are put together very much like a soap opera in 2 or 3 minutes durations and in particular the first half of the movie and at no point did the movie have any tension or suspense because of this pacing.
Chapo: El Escape Del Siglo is one of those rare movies that the subject should be interesting and dare I say it the actual poster is pretty cool looking that should have promised so much more and in the end disappoints. Even if you have an hour and a half to kill I can’t recommend watching this and that’s putting it nicely. The movie failed to captivate my attention and on this basis is one that I won’t be revisiting anytime soon.