The parallel lives of a washed-up American boxer and an asthmatic Mexico City youth with pugilist dreams intersect in doggedly old-fashioned melodrama “The Kid: Chamaco.” The film’s best-delivered punch is its real sense of the megalopolis’s streets and subcultures, but the combination of a screenplay burdened with coincidence and creaky redemption scenarios, along with artless direction, renders this “Kid” something less than a contender. Roadshow run via distrib Maya may set up modest vid returns.
When Jimmy (Kirk Harris, also co-writer with director Miguel Necoechea) suffers a loss in the ring, he retreats to Mexico City where doctor dad Frank (Martin Sheen) runs a low-cost clinic. Meanwhile, in a different part of the city, young Abner does what he can to learn how to box, supported by his drug-dealing g.f. (Sofia Espinosa) and abused by his piggish father (Gustavo Sanchez Parra). Abner’s doctor just happens to be Frank, so Jimmy becomes the boy’s trainer. And Jimmy just happens to fall for hooker Silvana (Danny Perea) unaware she’s Abner’s sister. Michael Madsen pops in occasionally as Jimmy’s U.S. manager, while Sheen comfortably manages much of his role in Spanish.