A stark lesson in the importance of skillful editing, Road to Juarez crisscrosses so haphazardly between locations, incidents, and time frames that it makes no sense on a basic narrative, thematic, or emotional level.
That said, even the deftest hand couldn’t salvage the tiresome crime-drama clichés on display throughout David Ponce de Leon’s supposedly based-on-real-events feature, in which young thief Jacob (Walter Perez) joins forces with his best friend Rob’s (Charley Koontz) ex-con uncle Doug (William Forsythe) to travel across the border to Mexico in order to locate an illegal snakeskin shipment that will net them a fortune.
Stolen movie equipment, a drug cartel kingpin’s wife (Romina Peniche), a kidnapping, and a load of cocaine also factor in to the action, though in ways that even the director doesn’t seem to quite understand, so randomly does he flip-flop from one dull point of interest to another.
Devoid of even the faintest coherence, Road to Juarez’s plot rambles about in search of direction, while its characters come across like half-formed ideas. Spitting venomous boasts one second and acting forlorn the next, all as they snort copious amounts of white powder in order to have enough energy for their next nonsensical exploit, they’re a group of wannabe-Tarantino thugs in a C-grade fiasco.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 29, 2015