Matando Cabos
(Killing Cabos)

foreign films

Matando Cabos (Killing Cabos)
Made in: Mexico
Language: Spanish
Director: Alejandro Lozano
Starring: Tony Dalton, Kristoff, Pedro Armendàriz Jr., Joaquìn Cosio, Raùl Mendez, Gustavo Sànchez Parra, Ana Claudio Talancòn, Rocio Verdejo, Silverio Palacios
Year: 1994

Synopsis: Set in Mexico, the trouble starts when Jaque (Tony Dalton) is caught having sex with his girlfriend Paulina (Ana Claudio Talancòn) when Paulina's father, Oscar Cabos (Pedro Armendàriz Jr.), walks in on them. Cabos also happens to be Jaque's boss.

The next day at work, when Jaque enters Cabos' office to offer an apology, Cabos attacks the young man in a rage but slips and knocks himself out. Panicked, Jaque bolts.

Some time later, Jaque and his friend Mudo (Kristoff) return only to find a still unconscious Cabos lying on the floor, mysteriously stripped to his underwear.

Just as Cabos' secretary enters the office, Jaque and Mudo grab their boss and leave, fearing that they''ll be suspected of wrongdoing if discovered in such an odd scene.

In an attempt to dispose of the body, Jaque and Mudo enlist the help of a former wrestler, Ruben "Mascarita" (Joaquìn Cosio) and his cannibalistic midget friend Tony (Silverio Palacios).

But soon they get entangled in a different plot that involves kidnapping the very same Oscar Cabos, masterminded by bumbling thugs Botcha (Raùl Mendez) and Nico (Gustavo Sànchez Parra), with the help of Botcha's girlfriend Lula (Rocio Verdejo), who also happens to be Paulina's best pal.

Misunderstandings, mixups, and serious weirdness ensue as the situation steadily gets out of hand.

The Good: Ambitious and energetic, Matando Cabos has all the plot elements needed for a clever, compelling thrill ride. Most of the characters are substantive and the actors are good.

Lately there have been a lot of high-enery films made in Mexico, and this one has me interested in checking more of them out.

Some moments in Matando Cabos, particularly in the first half, are creative and hilarious. The build-up is excellent.

The Bad: After a while though, the movie tries way too hard to be quirky and funny when it should have concentrated on story progression. Granted a few scenes are truly hilarious, I felt as though director Alejandro Lozano eventually resorted to lowbrow, childish gags that became obnoxious in no time.

And finally, the plot twists and turns in so many directions that it becomes impossible to tightly wrap up all loose ends by the time it's over.

Unfortunately, I have to say that Matando Cabos becomes a loud, unnecessarily profane convoluted mess with a so-so, half-ass ending.

Who would like this movie: I'm not telling you to avoid this movie altogether, since it does have some really good moments. I wanted to like it, but admit that it falls short of being a solid, consistent comedy.

However, I do recommend this movie if you're a high school or college student who's taking Spanish classes. Much of the dialog is clear enough so that you'll be able hear common grammatical stuff from your textbook used as it would be in real life.

That, plus you'll pick up some useful phrases. Just remember that not all the Spanish words in this film will be appropriate for polite conversation in the classroom, Mexico, or anywhere else.

And if anything, this movie is much more entertaining than the latest episode of Destinos...

(2 out of 4 stars)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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