Made as if “Pulp Fiction” were the latest thing, “Matando Cabos” strikes a gallery of studied hipster-gangster poses that fared a whole lot better back in the day. A perfect example of the sad trend in contempo Latin American filmmaking to imitate old Tarantino with only a fraction of the stylistic cojones, frantic comedy dealing with two pairs of confused guys and one pair of kidnap victims is an empty exercise that loses its juice before first reel’s end. Second-highest local 2004 grosser (to Televisa Cine’s well-received Stateside release, “A Day Without a Mexican”) will gain little of the support north of the border.
For reasons too complex to explain, nice-guy corporate types Jaque and Mudo (co-writers Tony Dalton and Krysztof Raczynski) must return kidnapped magnate Oscar Cabos (Pedro Armendariz) to safety, but get tangled up with a crew of baddies who mistakenly believe they have the real Cabos for a ransom. Commercials vet and tyro helmer Alejandro Lozano is more struggling traffic cop than director as plot’s increasingly ridiculous complications bunch up into a knot.