Intended as an expose of the abuse of children by Venezuela’s ruthless drug and gang culture and corrupt cops, “Glue Sniffer” ends up being just another project that confuses delivering a social message and exploiting a subject. Choppy editing, confusing narrative jumps and subpar production values plague helmer Elia Schneider’s urban actioner. Just as desperate kid hero Oliver (Jose G. Rivas) is lost in the shuffle of grown-ups carrying on a drug war, so is his character lost in a messy plot. Commercial outlook beyond Latin American markets is gloomy.
Eleven-year-old Oliver finds himself tossed out onto the harsh Caracas streets by his mom’s abusive b.f., and describes in brief chunks of narration his misery and need to survive. Disjointed drug battle between crippled Mocho (Alfredo Medina) and ambitious wannabes Pelao (Laureano Olivarez) and Cesar (Adolfo Cubas) racks up little more than a mounting body count and seems tangential to Oliver’s downhill slide.