Benito Rabal's "The Truck" is a pedestrian local comedy redeemed only by a general air of liveliness, agreeable playing by vet Sancho Gracia, and a couple of neat cameos. Traveling along a dramatic highway strewn with implausibilities and stereotypes, pic looks like it's running out of gas even in Hispanic territories.

A slice of uncured Spanish ham that looks like it fell off the back of a lorry, Benito Rabal’s “The Truck” is a pedestrian local comedy redeemed only by a general air of liveliness, agreeable playing by vet Sancho Gracia, and a couple of neat cameos. Traveling along a dramatic highway strewn with implausibilities and stereotypes, pic looks like it’s running out of gas even in Hispanic territories.

Crooks Manco (Sancho Gracia), Santos (Pablo Carbonell) and Dani (Carlos Fuentes) meet in a police truck which then crashes, allowing them to escape. They end up in a coastal villa and set up house there, but the arrival of blonde Russian Nina (Elsa Pataky) complicates their plans. Plot swiftly deteriorates into a farce involving the Russian mafia, missing plutonium and a couple of unspectacular car chases. TV showman Carbonell has an appealing screen presence, but the vets — Gracia (in a role intended for helmer’s father, Francisco Rabal, who died in 2001), Rafael Alvarez “El Brujo” as a cop, and Luis Cuenca, in a minor role as a lawyer — have an unhappy tendency to blow the younger thesps right off the screen.

The Truck

Spain

Production

A Filmax release of a Castelao production, with participation of TVE, Via Digital. Produced by Julio Fernandez. Directed, written by Benito Rabal.

Crew

Camera (color), Angel Alderete; editor, Jose Maria Biurrun; music, J. Pablo Munoz Zielinski. Reviewed at Palacio de la Prensa, Madrid, June 12, 2003. Running time: 96 MIN

With

Sancho Gracia, Pablo Carbonell, Carlos Fuentes, Elsa Pataky, Rafael Alvarez "El Brujo", Luis Cuenca.
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