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No Turning Back

The plight of an illegal Honduran immigrant and his child on the run from the law in SoCal drives "No Turning Back," a competently made but unconvincing melodrama.

Cast:
With: Jesus Nebot, Chelsea Rendon, Lindsay Price, Vernee Watson Johnson, Susan Haskell, Robert Vestal, Paul Ganus, Joe Estevez.

The plight of an illegal Honduran immigrant and his child on the run from the law in SoCal drives “No Turning Back,” a competently made but unconvincing melodrama. With a cast of TV thesps and a straightforward, not particularly suspenseful presentation, debut feature for writer-director-producer-star Jesus Nabot (who shares helming and script credit with Julia Montejo) is best suited for broadcast slots; multihyphenate’s following from two popular past Venezuelan telenovelas could help international sales.

Having lost his pregnant wife to Hurricane Mitch, lit professor Pablo Hernandez (Nabot) tries to start over as a day laborer in Oceanside, Calif., with 6-year-old daughter Cristina (Chelsea Rendon). But he accidentally kills a child who’s run into his borrowed truck’s path; fearing deportation or worse, he flees. Father and tyke improbably stay one step ahead of grudge-bearing LAPD detective Bryant (Vernee Watson Johnson) yet can’t seem to shake the annoying punkette videographer (Lindsay Price) who sees their “story” as a career gold mine. Earnest but formulaic drama is lent some gravitas by Nebot’s solid perf. But other characters are one-note or unsympathetic, with script too dependent on coincidental path-crossings.

No Turning Back

Production: A Zokalo Entertainment production in association with Cartel. Produced by Jesus Nebot. Executive producers, Eduardo Campoy, Nebot. Co-executive producer, Soledad Fernandez. Directed, written by Jesus Nebot, Julia Montejo.

Crew: Camera (color), Ian Fox; editors, Irene Blecua, Andrea Zondler; music, Steven Chesne; production designer, Gail Mosley. Reviewed at Montreal Film Festival (World Cinema), Aug. 26, 2001. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Jesus Nebot, Chelsea Rendon, Lindsay Price, Vernee Watson Johnson, Susan Haskell, Robert Vestal, Paul Ganus, Joe Estevez.

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