Review: ‘Blood in Blood Out’

Producer-director Taylor Hackford clearly wants this to be a major cinematic exploration of the Latino experience, from its ponderous near-three-hour length to its more-than-occasional sermonizing. Unfortunately, disjointed storytelling and uneven performances undermine those aspirations.

Producer-director Taylor Hackford clearly wants this to be a major cinematic exploration of the Latino experience, from its ponderous near-three-hour length to its more-than-occasional sermonizing. Unfortunately, disjointed storytelling and uneven performances undermine those aspirations.

With script help from poet and former convict Jimmy Santiago Baca, among others [from a story by Ross Thomas], Hackford – relying on a virtually unknown cast – has blended elements of Boyz N the Hood and The Godfather.

Starting in the early ’70s, the plot centers on three youths and follows them into their early 30s: Paco (Benjamin Bratt), a hot-tempered boxer; Cruz (Jesse Borrego), a gifted painter seemingly destined to escape the barrio; and Miklo (Damian Chapa), their half-white cousin who ultimately becomes the focus when he’s drawn into an interracial turf war in San Quentin.

Blood In Blood Out (the title refers to the code of a prison gang) seems compelled to say something profound but too often stands on a soapbox to do it. Much of the story takes place in prison, unflinchingly exploring some of the same brutal themes touched on in Edward James Olmos’ American Me.

Blood in Blood Out

Production

Hollywood Pictures. Director Taylor Hackford; Producer Taylor Hackford, Jerry Gershwin; Screenplay Jimmy Santiago Baca, Jeremy Iacone, Floyd Mutrux; Camera Gabriel Beristain; Editor Fredric Steinkamp, Karl F. Steinkamp; Music Bill Conti; Art Director Bruno Rubeo

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 174 MIN.

With

Damian Chapa Jesse Borrego Benjamin Bratt Enrique Castillo Victor Rivers Delroy Lindo
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading