Cooler than Shaft, Hotter than Bond, Faster than Lee
Mandrill (M. Zaror) is a high-level assassin whose parents many years ago were slaughtered in cold blood by a ruthless drug lord. Now he finds himself finally in a position to get his revenge. But since it falls in love precisely in the pretty daughter of the ruthless killer. Mandrill now faces the most serious decision of his life ...
After more or less a three week absence from film watching (I really hate it when life gets in the way of watching films), I thought this camp Chilean actioner would be a good way to ease me into my contribution to Berken's challenge.
In a way, it was, but I think it ended up being a bit too campy and not to mention derivative and overly reliant on homage and influence for my taste. It also didn't seem to know whether it was going to go all out for the comedy and spoofing or whether it was trying the…
This is the tenth film in the Second Letterboxd Festival.
If The World's Most Interesting Man spent some of his earlier life as an assassin, I imagine it would be a lot like what you see in Mandrill.
I haven't seen a film like Mandrill in quite some time. It embraces excess and schlock uses those traits to simply be entertaining, in which it is very successful. From the over saturated color palette, the camera and editing tricks, to some hyper stylized fight scenes that I found genuinely great, the whole film stays true to itself and its approach by putting a layer of cheese over the entire film. But that doesn't stop it from a whole lot of fun,…
Zaror's choreography is clean but a little loose, the fights feel a bit rehearsed. but they're shot and cut pretty conservatively, and it's nice to see a low-budget martial arts movie that isn't all cargo containers and abandoned factories. still there's an awful lot of sitting around moping and talking here.
Okay, Mandrill. You did it. You put your magic in me.
^This will only be funny if you've seen it.^
There is no evidence whatsoever that this is a good movie, but somehow I really enjoyed it. It's full of cheesy one-liners, one-note performances, predictable "twists," and it has so many plot-holes it's a wonder how there's actually a plot to speak of. The story is about a mysterious bounty hunter named Antonio who wants to avenge his parents' deaths. For some reason, they work a love story into the middle, which doesn't make any sense but is pretty awesome.
There are some wildly entertaining fight scenes and some hilarious "romantic" moments. The flashbacks…
Film 10 of the 2nd Letterboxd Film Festival
Cool is the best word to describe Mandrill. The title character is a handsome hit man with great clothes, great sideburns, and skills in martial arts. He also has a past that we get to know in flashbacks.
Sometimes the tone is dark as in the memories of watching his parents murdered when he was a child, and sometimes it's lighter, as with the scenes where his uncle teaches him how to woo women and learn skills from John Colt, a television super-spy. And woo them he does in the present day scenes.
His assignment takes him from Chile to "Atlantic City," a casino hotel in Lima, Peru, where supposedly his parents'…
Very solid martial arts flick with lots of good action and no CG nonsense. Great musical and art direction as well.
A weird Chilean knock-off 007 travels around South America killing bad guys and having just a shit-ton of martial arts fights to music that's suspiciously close to copyrighted James Bond songs. Also having weird flashbacks to his childhood. It's...pretty fantastic.
I honestly kind of love that Marko Zaror is just running around down in Chile, making his own no-budget Van Damme-style action movies. He's a true hero.
This movie's soundtrack is basically unlicensed James Bond songs. The open credits are also done in Grand Theft Auto font. Finally, a man dies to a boombox in a tub.
What I'm trying to say is this movie is fantastic.
Incredible in the way that it motions the plot forward by simple strokes and clichéd moments, just like in Redeemer, but this feels more inspired and less forward in its eagerness to please. More than anything else this might be the best film Ernesto has made if it wasn't for the fact that is mostly brought down by the dialogue that might sound cool in subtitles, and while cheesy, it kinda works, but the two main actors here aren't the best talents, and by far the best moments are those that are more quiet than the action ones, which defeats the purpose of this being an action film. Still, commendable stuff here and there.
Just a great amount of fun and the John Colt movie within the movie stuff is amazing to the point where I kinda wanted more of that in this.
A surprisingly funny Bond parody until the film decides the last third should be dedicated to a serious love story and anti-revenge fable. Both sides of the film worked for me, but they didn't mesh together at all. Either could be a better film, but together they both drag the other down.
While I am not officially participating in the month-long reviewing of foreign films, I figured I should still meet one of the demands that those officially doing it had to fulfill, which is that one of the movies had to be from Chile. I realize this isn't a high brow movie from there, but I have seen some films from star Marko Zaror (I haven't reviewed them all here; the reason why his only high profile role is the wildly uneven Machete Kills is that I understand Zaror prefers doing his own projects, which do have trouble getting off the ground) and a few days from now it will…
Starts off as a James Bond pastiche where the protagonist is instead a Chilean hitman who's also a martial arts expert, and it's both fun and a bit frustratingly unreconstructed in its sexual politics. (That's a polite way of saying it starts off seeming misogynist as shit.)
Then it complicates itself in interesting ways. Definitely did not see the end coming, even though once it's laid out the structuralism is clear.
Anyway, of limited value for people who don't like Fantastic Fest fodder, but if you do, check this one out.
the aesthetic is dripping with style and sex appeal, and this glossy, well-shot assassin thriller has some sharply choreographed, cinematic fight scenes, but the seventies grindhouse interludes slow down (and show the seams) of an otherwise slick action romance.
It has moments, and while I genuinely think director Ernesto Díaz Espinoza has some serious action chops, this film is just a little too routine to really get behind.
One of the best movie podcasts out there, Junkfood Cinema examines forgotten cult and genre films. This is a list…