'Desierto' - Movie Review
'Desierto' director Jonas Cuaron and co-writer Mateo Garcia are not quite interested in giving us any depth in terms of characterization or set-up. Like in 'Gravity', it’s all about the experience. Unfortunately, this one is not as novel
Director: Jonás Cuarón
Cast: Alondra Hidalgo, Marco Perez, Oscar Flores, Butch McCain, Gael García Bernal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Diego Cataño
Jonas Cuaron, the son of Alfonso, with whom he co-wrote the blockbuster 'Gravity', attempts a high tension down-the-wire thriller with this directorial effort, that comes much after ‘Year of the Nail’ released in 2007. But it’s not quite masterful or riveting.
Moises (Gael Garcia Bernal) and his team of 13 migrants have to trek through harsh terrain along the US-Mexico border after their truck breaks down. But it’s not only hazardous inconvenience they face. A rabid psychotic sniper Sam (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)and his vicious hunting dog, a German Shepherd named Tracker, has them in their sights. So it’s up to Moises now to out think the predator and find a way out from this catch-22 situation.
There’s nothing new to this “Desierto” experience. From ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ to ‘Bloodlust’ to ‘Running Man’ we’ve seen the oft-repeated gambit of people being stranded in a remote area and getting killed off one by one. It makes for a primal, visceral experience but nothing much beyond that. Having illegal immigrants/migrants in the middle of things might open up some socio-politico nuances and give it some topicality given the recent Syrian influx, but it’s just not a strong enough lead to a psychological profile of that aspect.
Cuaron and co-writer Mateo Garcia are not quite interested in giving us any depth in terms of characterization or set-up. Like in ‘Gravity’ it’s all about the experience. Unfortunately, this one is not as novel. And the bare necessities approach doesn’t exactly work in it’s favor. Cinematography by Damian Garcia is captivating while Woodkid’s background score plays up the affectation. This is a designated action-thriller through and through – the take it or leave it kind!
Watch trailer of 'Desierto':
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