The term “liberal propaganda” has always made me laugh for many reasons, such as: it only exists in the States, it’s often just fair or truthful storytelling, etc. As a man once said, the reason wikipedia has a liberal bias is because the facts have a liberal bias.
But watching this film, it’s hard not to accuse it of being a big, brutal Hollywood message movie – i.e. liberal propaganda. The message is essentially “Guns are bad, violent video games are bad, and Mexicans are people too.” Gee wiz. And though I agree with two of those sentiments – guess which one I don’t agree with! – this film is so heavy handed and so paint-by-numbers that it’s infuriating. This story has been told before, and much better, with far fewer contrivances.
Here are some contrivances:
- The guy who caused his wife’s death is actually the son of his successor! Seriously? It couldn’t have just been some kid? The only one who can truly solve the case objectively is the grieving ex-cop. Nobody else wants to do their job properly.
- The greatest of these is the moral at the end, where the film attempts to solve the whole situation for us by saying that rich, English-speaking Americans should pay Mexicans to work for them in Mexico and that would solve all our problems, if it weren’t for that damn militia that’s grown up around the border – and only the man who has learned that sometimes Mexicans are more reliable than Americans can stop them!
I will say that Pena was good and Longoria was so shockingly out of character – and makeup – that I didn’t even recognize her. So that’s something.
- Directed by Michael Berry
- Produced by Bill Andrew, Tracy K. Price, Alex Witherill, Mike Witherill, Eric A. Williams, Tina Aldatz, Barry Young
- Written by Michael Berry, Luis Moulinet III
- Eva Longoria
- Michael Peña
- Ed Harris
- Amy Madigan
- Music by Darren Tate, Kenneth Lampl
- Cinematography by Joel Ransom
- Edited by Larry Madaras
- Production company: Ocean Blue Entertainment
- Distributed by Magnolia Pictures
- Release date: July 31, 2014
- Country: United States
- Language: English, Spanish
- Budget: $2.3 million
- Box office: $59,306