Movie Review: La Soga

Movie Review: La Soga

Summary: A cop who takes the law into his own hands is seeking to avenge the death of his father, a butcher who was murdered by a thug when he was a child.

Published August 11, 2010

Summary : A cop who takes the law into his own hands is seeking to avenge the death of his father, a butcher who was murdered by a thug when he was a child. Pigs, childhood sweethearts and epic violence ties together this crime-drama, mainly filmed in the Dominican Republic.

Review : Yes, La Soga is another action-crime drama that circles around dirty cops, drugs and revenge. This is nothing new-- but what is?  Once you breathe through the lack of originality it's hard to deny that La Soga drops some soul into a typical plot -- by using the Dominican Republic as a backdrop the film is outlined with ferocious beauty.  Refreshingly, there is no CGI or elaborate sets. La Soga is filmed in the heart of D.R., which redeems plot mishaps and softening the predictable.

La Soga is directed by Josh Crook , but co-produced and written by Manny Perez , who also plays the main character, Luisito. While Crook is the director, La Soga feels like Perez's film. Perez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic (Crook, by his own words, is a non-Spanish-speaking director from Brooklyn), delivering a film with an insider's perspective. It’s Perez’s on-screen passion that makes the movie enjoyable.

Stylistically, La Soga is doused with choppy editing, dark lighting and bright colors -- at times it resembles a flick from the Saw franchise.  For some, this maniac style of filmmaking will be a cinematic distraction, but for me, it helped capture the essence of the feverish characters who are suffering with anger, deception and the need for revenge.

Script-wise, La Soga gets lost in spending an excessive amount of time getting into the soul of the characters with the cheap parlor tricks of flashbacks. Since the film is about the son of a butcher who seeks revenge, there are countless symbolic references to pigs. Too many pigs and not enough time, some smooth editing could've evened out La Soga .

Despite its flaws, which are minimal for a movie that doesn't have millions of dollars like the big Hollywood flicks , La Soga keeps the audience engaged right to the last frame. This is a gritty urban drama that transcends language and culture.

La Soga opens in select cities Friday, August 13th.

Written by Clay Cane

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