Monday, 30 August 2010

Film Review: LA LINEA (THE LINE) (2009)

Director: James Cotten
Running time: 91 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK release date: Unknown

Watched on Sky+ Monday 30th August 2010.


On the face of it this looks quite good, an interweaving plot involving drug smugglers, a bounty hunter, the CIA and some terrorists. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to its potential. But more of that later, here’s a bit about this complicated plot first, without giving too much away. It is modern times and the location is the Mexican border town of Tijuana.

Mark Shields is a bounty hunter, he has been employed by… well let’s say by parties as yet unknown, to kill the current leader of a drug smuggling ring, Pelon. The previous leader, Javier Salazar, is very ill and has brought Pelon in to oversee his business much to the disgust of his son, known as Diablo. To help him, Mark has employed Wire, another American. The American authorities are also looking into the smugglers activities, especially since they have word that they are about to do a deal with some Afghani poppy ‘farmers’ to get their product into the United States. The route they use is known as ‘The Line’ of the title. Mark is haunted by visions of a woman from his past and, at times, he loses grip on reality. He is befriended by Olivia, who takes him in after he is mugged. But he still has a job to do… I won’t say any more, I think that’s enough for now.

Quite a well made film which gave you a good flavour of life on the seedier side of the streets of Tijuana. Quite a slow deliberate pace that, I felt, didn’t really help the telling of the story. Having said that, decent performances, with Ray Liotta as Mark Shields and Valerie Cruz as Olivia standing out for me. Honourable mentions also go to; Andy Garcia as Javier Salazar, Esai Morales as Pelon, Armand Assante as Padre Antonio, Jordi Vilasuso as Diablo and Kevin Gage as Wire.

At the end of the day I felt this wasn’t a great movie, the slow pace and the over-complicated plot made for a bit of a damp squib. There is a neat twist at the end, but by then I had stopped really caring. The plot centred too much on the bad guys which I found a little off putting because I really couldn’t engage with them. Over all, not great and not recommended.

My score: 4.6/10

IMDb Site:

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