Kalibre 35 (2000)

Rating: C-

Dir: Raúl García
Star: Juana Acosta, Robinson Díaz, Juan Carlos Vargas, Mario Duarte

I like the idea here: a group of young, aspiring film-makers, unable to obtain financing for their movie, decide to rob a bank to get the money – using Point Break as their inspiration. This probably makes more sense, when you know it’s set in Bogota, Colombia…where life was cheap, as the tagline goes – particularly during 1999, when this was made [the murder rate there was then 10 times that of the US, or 40 times the UK’s]. Anyway, despite an appealing idea, this doesn’t go anywhere significant, at least until the last twenty minutes, where the actual robbery generates a degree of tension that’s in sharp contrast to the rest of the film.

I think it’s really the script which is the main problem; the characters it creates are somewhat interesting, ranging from the idealistic cinemaphile, referred to as ‘Fellini’ by his friends, through to the more pragmatic one who has sold out and is making commercials for a living. However, the writer has only very limited ideas what to do with them – this finally becomes clear the night before the robbery where they head, for no readily apparent reason, out to the countrysude and take magic mushrooms. With very few exceptions, it’s a reliable indicator that any time a film resorts to the audience watching people trip out, this is a sign the imagination well has run completely dry. This is a pity, since the finale shows Garcia as not devoid of talent. Shame it took him 85 minutes to find it.