(Review originally written at 29 September 2010)

This troubled production really isn't a bad one to watch but it's a bit of a distant and hard one to watch, due to its overall approach of its story and subject.

This must have been a bit of a dream-project for director Steven Soderbergh a the time, fore he really pushed for shooting and finishing this movie, without the backing of any big studios or rich producers. At the time the movie(s) was finished, nobody was interested in distributing it, despite having Soderbergh's and Benicio Del Toro's names attached to it. It therefore also never really got a decent wide release at the theaters and financially turned into a big disappointment, even after cutting the movie into two different separate ones and releasing them shortly after each other. The buzz for this movie however always had been quite good, though lots of people had also already pointed out from the beginning how heavily flawed the movie is. And yes, while this is definitely being a well made movie, it's definitely not a movie that is without its flows.

It's being a very fragmentary film, with some very fragmentary storytelling. This means that literally in the one scene we have a couple of guys talking in the jungle, the next scene a different group is in a fire fight and the next scene everybody is sitting around at a camp. So the scene's don't necessarily directly connect with each other. The entire movie is basically being like this and it even switches back and forth in time as well, with the story of Che fighting at Cuba and the story of Che talking at the UN convention in New York, many years later. This style of film-making really isn't that uncommon of course but I'm not always a big fan of it. This movie definitely didn't benefited much from it. Watching this actually made me wish Oliver Stone would had directed this. His style of film-making seemed far more suiting for the story and its main subject.

I can't really say that this is being a biopic of Che Guevara. The movie really doesn't give any insights concerning its main character and it certainly doesn't give him any background or clear motivations why he's so much involved with the Cuban revolution. The movie basically more or less assumes that the viewers already knows lots of things about the character and the Cuban revolution in general. In doesn't really ever go in depth with any of its things, which makes this a bit of a distant and less involving movie to watch.

This are basically the downsides of the movie, while the movie of course also has plenty of positive things to say about it in it. Fact remains that this is a well made movie, that is good looking, despite of its restrained budget.

I was also pleasantly surprised by Benicio Del Toro. Yes, I already knew he was a great actor but I never thought he would be capable of portraying a real life person, because he has such an unique and distinctive look of his own. But in this movie he simply turns easily into Che Guevara, without making it ever distracting.

Despite its flaws this movie is still good enough to keep me interested- and wanting me to see part two.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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