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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "El Chicano"

The drug cartels are one of the most feared organizations around today, and they are one of the reasons many people are leaving their countries and seeking asylum elsewhere. Even though the cartels in Central America try to keep their violence south of the US border, what would happen if they tried to take the Southwestern United States back? That very issue is at the heaert of “El Chicano”.

Directed by Ben Hernandez Bray (Shadowhunters) and starring Raul Castillo (Atlantic City), Jose Pablo Cantillo (Crank), David Castaneda (Sicario: Day of the Soldado), Marlene Forte (Shooter), Aimee Garcia (Love Bites), Sal Lopez (Full Metal Jacket) and George Lopez (Spare Parts), this story takes place in modern day East Los Angeles with LAPD detective Diego (Castillo) and his partner Detective Martinez (Cantillo), who work a crime scene where a group of gang members are murdered who all have the same tattoo with the nickname and date of birth of Diego’s late brother, who was killed in prison. Diego’s supervisor, Captain Martinez (Lopez), wants the case solved in a day, before the Feds take over, so Diego reaches out to his childhood friend turned gangster, Shotgun (Castaneda) for help. Shotgun has his own motives that lie in teaming with the cartels in Mexico to try to take back California and get it back to Mexico while trying to avoid a mysterious vigilante named “El Chicano” who is taking out the major crime figures.

There are a lot of night scenes, which fits this film well due to its dark storyline and gave me the feel like I was in the neighborhoods with the characters. Of course there are scenes with the police helicopters doing the search lights in the rain, which really gave it even more of an impactful vibe. When it comes to the acting, I saw no major faults with Castillo and Castillo, who compliment each other well, but Lopez really stands out here as the no nonsense captain, which is a contrast to what I am used to seeing from him.

I am a little conflicted, however, when it comes to the script. Be warned: there is definitely the violence that can be expected from this type of film along with good action scenes and a crazy soundtrack. On the other hand, “El Chicano” uses too much in police slang, which causes the story to get confusing. There was actually a point where I almost threw in the towel trying to keep up with it, and when you have a character in the film that it is titled after, he should be used more than a few minutes in the beginning and end, so I will recommend it as a Redbox rental.

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