REVIEW: Sin Nombre

16 01 2010

A few years ago, I watched an episode of “South Park” called “Simpsons Already Did It” that changed the way I view a lot of things. In the episode, one of the cartoon scoundrels is plotting with his best friend to bring about the demise of the show’s four main characters. Every time he comes up with what he thinks is an incredibly ingenious idea, the friend turns to him and says, “No, the Simpsons already did that.” In essence, the message that I got from these deliberations is that something isn’t worth doing is someone else has already done it.

If only someone were sitting at the table with Cary Joji Fukunanga when he was writing “Sin Nombre.” They could have given him a reality check.

“‘City of God‘ already did it.” Not only does “City of God” do a lot of what “Sin Nombre” does, but it also executes it with more grace and skill.

It’s a brutal movie – not the content, the experience of sitting down for an hour and a half and watching this. “Sin Nombre” has the plot sustainability of a ten-minute short film; by doing simple math, it is nine times too long. It wants to be a little bit of everything: a ganster movie, an exposé of poverty, a gripping emotional ride, and a touching human drama. But the movie doesn’t help itself by dividing up its attention between all four of them. It spreads itself too thin even though it has nothing to spread.

I haven’t talked much about the plot, but I will let you know that it is a story about illegal immigrants crossing into the United States. I feel sympathy for them on a human level; however, it’s hard to care too much because these are people who cause constant political turmoil. Given how boring Fukunanga’s movie is, I would have been much more interested in watching the characters stand in line trying to get a green card. D /


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17 01 2010
James D.

Not only that, but Maria Full of Grace, Sangre de mi Sangre, and many others.

Glad to see someone else sees through all the positive reviews this got.

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