2019/06/25

Palatable: El Niño

El Niño (2014)
Directed by Daniel Monzón
Written by Jorge Guerricaechevarría, Daniel Monzón
Produced by Álvaro Augustin, Ghislain Barrois, Borja Pena, Edmon Roch, Javier Ugarte, Vérane Frédiani, Franck Ribière, Olivier Courson, Antonio P. Pérez, Harold van Lier, Jaime Ortiz de Artiñano, Jorge Tuca, Victoria Borrás, Jordi Gasull, Emma Lustres
Starring Luis Tosar, Jesús Castro, Bárbara Lennie, Eduard Fernández, Saed Chatiby, Jesús Carroza, Mariam Bachir, Sergi López, Juan Motilla, Moussa Maaskri, María García, Ian McShane
Fortunes and corpses accrue for routes plied and narcotics smuggled across the Strait of Gibraltar, repugned by Spain's coastal law enforcement. This opposition's represented by dogged detectives (Tosar, Lennie, Fernández) in a peninsular narcotics division straining to snag an unflappable speedboater (Castro), his skittish buddy (Carroza) and their wily contact (Chatiby), whose sister (Bachir) reluctantly renders abetment to find herself romanced by Castro's dashing daredevil. Best when portraying methods, tricks and technology of its police and perps in procedural scenes and montages, this expertly shot thriller emphasizes the socioeconomic chasm between Iberian and Arab societies merely ten miles distant to expand satisfactorily on illicit cabotage in southern Spain, here perpetrated by rival rings headed by a barbarous Moroccan drug lord (Maaskri) and shadowy Slavs whose English surrogate (McShane) is too slick for conventional surveillance. As much for its quality production as its topicality, superb stunts on land and sea coordinated by seasoned stuntman Jordi Casares, and solid portrayals by both fresh and familiar faces, it's well worth watching.

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