The lives of an American boxer and a Mexico City kid intersect in this old-fashioned melodrama.

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.

The Kid: Chamaco

U.S.-Mexico

Production

A Maya Independent (in U.S.) release of an Ivania Films/Rogue Arts/Fidecine/Imcine/Radio London Films/Chambers Prods./Jetta Pictures presentation. Produced by Don Franken, Miguel Necoechea, Kirk Harris. Executive producers, Scott Chambers, Phillip Bligh, Bruce Randolph Tizes, Justin Kim. Co-executive producers, Vernon Mortensen, Neil Trusso. Directed by Miguel Necoechea. Screenplay, Kirk Harris, Miguel Necoechea, Carl Bessai.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, DV), Guillermo Granillo; editor, Mario Sandoval; music, Evan Evans; production designer, Carlos Herrera. Reviewed at Mann Chinese Theater, Los Angeles, Aug. 28, 2010. (In, Palm Springs, New York Latino, Los Angeles Latino film festivals.) Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Martin Sheen, Kirk Harris, Alex Perea, Michael Madsen, Danny Perea, Gustavo Sanchez Parra, Raul Mendez, Sofia Espinosa, Marco Antonio Barrera. (Spanish, English dialogue)

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