Produced by Gerardo Herrero, Sandro Silvestri, Maura Vespini.
Directed by Sergio Cabrera. Screenplay, Claude Pimont, Ben Odell. Camera (color), Giovanni Mammolotti; editors, Fernando Pardo, Nicholas Wentworth; music , German Arrieta, Gonzalo Sacarminaga; art director, Federico Garcia Cambero. Reviewed at Cines Princesa, Aug. 2, 1999. Original Spanish title: Golpe de estadio. (Spanish dialogue.) Running time: 105 MIN.
With: Emma Suarez, Nicolas Montero, Cesar Mora, Raul Sender, Andrea Giordana, Lorena Forteza, Humberto Dorado.
A high-octane mixture of “Victory” and “Men With Guns” in comic key, “Stadium Coup” is an intelligent parable built around a single strong idea: that one game , soccer, unites people while another game, war, divides them. But pic regularly teeters on the brink of incoherence, and its subject matter — a three-way power struggle on the long road to peace in Colombia — is unlikely to ignite offshore passions.
Twenty-minute opening sequence centers on a U.S.-owned oil tower protected by the Colombian military, headed by Sgt. Garcia (Cesar Mora), from guerrillas led by Maria (Emma Suarez) and her lover, Carlos (Nicolas Montero). The Colombia-Paraguay qualifier for the 1994 World Cup is also taking place, and when Colombia scores, a happy helicopter pilot accidentally destroys the tower. Pic slows through the central section with peace negotiations, plus subplots including a gunrunner (Andrea Giordana) and glamorous Italian journalist (Lorena Forteza). In casting Suarez, Forteza and Raul Sender, pic bears the scars of its co-production deal: All are implausible. But behind its farcical framework, the movie has a delirious energy, scattering satirical bullets far and wide to good effect. Action sequences are well lensed.