Corruption, Redemption, and Way Too Many Pigs in Revenge Thriller La Soga
Suspiciously employing the same thug flashiness, upbeat nouveau-ethnic soundtrack, and glamorously shot poverty found in fellow shanty-town raves City of God and Sin Nombre, director Josh Crook's straightforward revenge thriller also shares those films' aesthetic aim: to find the tonal overlap between brutality and elegance. If La Soga feels neither gritty nor poignant enough to hit that sweet spot, it's not for a lack of sincerity. Writer, co-producer, and star Manny Perez alone brings a soulful charisma to the lead role of Luisito, an eager assassin for the Santiago secret police who demonstrates no mercy toward the drug dealers who reign over the sweaty slums. (Crook shot the film in real crime-infested Dominican hoods.) In too many parallel flashbacks with too frequent ham-fisted pig imagery, we learn of Luisito's path from innocent butcher's son to avenging loner forever hunting the man who murdered his father. His street nickname, "La Soga," refers to the noose around a slaughterhouse oinker's neck, and the subgenre's clichéd two-way street of corruption and redemption predictably sees our antihero finding liberation in a childhood sweetheart while facing down the crooked lawman who led him to a life of transgression.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Scott Adkins Plays a Badass Actually Named ‘Colt McReady’ In the Effective ‘Close Range’
- Meet the Pole Who Tried to Warn the World About the Holocaust in ‘Karski & the Lords...
- Jane Fonda Faced Down the Seventies and a Killer in Pakula’s Masterful ‘Klute’
- He’ll Get Your Head Shaking: Surveying the Start of Chung Mong-hong’s (Likely) Great...