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Towards Darkness: The Bourne Opprobrium

Third-world kidnapping scourge as action-movie grist

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Towards Darkness
Directed by Antonio Negret
Peace Arch Entertainment and Negret Films
Opens March 14, Quad Cinema

Towards Darkness purports to expose the scourge of kidnapping in Colombia by reveling in the tropes of the jittery, time-leaping, turbo-charged action thriller—call it The Bourne Opprobrium. The debut feature of writer-director Antonio Negret tells us something of the practical, psychological, and economic dynamics of this demoralizing South American growth industry; also that he can stage one hell of a car chase. The film (shot on video) starts with a bang—handsome José (Roberto Urbina) smashed upside the head, blindfolded, and dragged through the jungle—and it keeps on banging, crosscutting in flashback amongst a dizzying network of subplots (rogue ex-FBI agents, shady banking schemes) and stylistics (montage! montage! montage!). Bang goes the climax, too, before resolving in the bleakest of whimpers. Admirably tough-minded if overstuffed, Towards Darkness delivers on its foreboding title. And Negret, I suspect, will deliver on the promise of this.

 
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