Noted Chilean writer Luis Sepulveda makes a forgettable directing bow in this Latin co-prod, set in an unidentified South American dictatorship in the 1980s. Though strong on extolling solidarity and civil rights, pic is so riddled with old-fashioned dramatic cliches that not even a cast headlining Harvey Keitel and Angela Molina and a high-powered Italo crew can save it from a fast ride to vid shelves.
Story opens with a poker-faced generalissimo rounding up five “terrorists” in broad daylight and sending them blindfolded to a mountain camp. The freedom fighters turn out to be a gay cook, a Jewish barber, a student, a history prof and a laborer. The soldiers left behind to guard them are more comical than fierce, and with the help of some tasty home cooking, everyone comes to an understanding. Meanwhile, the prisoners’ rescue is planned by a three-member commando group that includes El Gringo (Keitel), an ex-U.S. Marine disillusioned by his country’s support of dictatorships. Back home, the laborer’s companion (Molina) joins forces with the cook’s lover (Daniel Fanego) to keep hope alive that their loved ones will return.