Forties noir meets ’90s Madrid in thriller novelist Juan Madrid’s debut, “Tangiers,” to inevitably confused effect. Madrid’s qualities as a writer –hard-boiled terseness and a canny understanding of human nature — have not successfully transferred to celluloid, and film’s reach far exceeds its grasp. Result is a cold exercise in style plagued by first-timer errors. Offshore theatrical prospects look slim.
Moroccan-born Abdul (Cuban thesp Jorge Perugorria) returns to Madrid to work for his father, Richi (Jose Manuel Cervino), in latter’s shady debt-collection agency — which turns out to be a cover for a drug-trafficking ring. He meets and gets it on with Richi’s femme fatale lover, Lidia (Ana Fernandez). Characters are generally one-dimensional, and when they aren’t (e.g., Abdul), they’re bewildering. Ambitious, often implausible plot heads off in all sorts of strange directions. Tech credits are decent.