The Iberian thriller of recent years in Spain has become a recognizable remnant of films of cohabiting genres with a certain predilection for criminal plots and black film, but also elements of revenge, action and drama found in ‘Bajocero’ a good summary packaged in a competent invoice and an ideal format for Netflix, although it was filmed with the intention of going through theaters.
A common factor in films such as ‘La Isla minim’ (2014), ‘Que Dios nos perdone’ (2016) or ‘Tarde para la ira’ (2016) is their deeply Hispanic root, navigating between the noir, the black chronicle recognizable to the viewer, the harshness of deep Spain and the uprising of what is expected in a national film with respect to humor and manners, taken to an extreme of search for realism that supports verisimilitude, but also condemns the films to wear corsets that they did not need either.
The fear of making an action film with a certain attachment to evasion and a few drops of impudence contrasts the moments of shotgun and gunpowder with dramatic justifications that share a common tone which, once established by the aforementioned great titles, seems difficult to break in pursuit of a more malleable material, in which the search between “does not seem Spanish” and “is genuinely Spanish” seems to create a code impossible to decipher without making a fool of yourself.
Despite not taking off from that matrix of very closed characters in the realism of ‘Cell 211’ (2009), the new film by Lluís Quílez it allows concessions and lurching of the script, incongruities and small mismatches here and there that do not become really annoying, but they do separate it from that aroma of prestigious cinema to which many of the national thrillers aspire by tying up the dots. In return, his western-style armored car assault storyline is carried away by escape and video store entertainment without concessions.
Action, Hispanic gothic and blood
There is no lack of ingredients of black chronicle and revenge that connect it, for better or for worse, with examples with which it does not come out well in comparison, but it all depends on how you look at it. On the one hand it “does not become” the work of a Alberto Rodriguez, but on the other, it is a freer version of that kind of proposal, where chases, shootings and action scenes live more in a universal market, despite the toll being occasional sequential staples that do not connect well with each other.
If on the one hand we have elements of criminal cinema, which resonates with the newspapers and newscasts of recent years, the core of the story centers on two policemen escorting a group of prisoners with whom we have the opportunity to empathize, while they are assaulted by what appears to be a sniper in the style of the brutal ‘Downrage’ (2007); Y To a certain extent, ‘Bajocero’ has a certain vocation of slasher survival, with elements that could also be common with ‘La presa’ (Southern Confort, 1981).
But living with criminals, not only reminds us of the cinema of John carpenter from ‘Asalto a la comisaría del Distrito 13’ (Assault on Precinct 13, 1976) or ‘Fantasmas de Marte’ (Ghosts of Mars, 2001), but rather is ascribed to certain moral textures of recent Spanish fiction, where the factor From the crisis, the vision of politicians and institutions has radically changed, being key examples to understand them ‘One hundred years of forgiveness’ (2016) or ‘La casa de papel’ (2017).
Cinema of the crisis
It cannot be said that ‘Bajocero’ opts for a subtext especially directed towards that reality, but there is certain sympathies, gray places and details that could frame her in a “cinema of the crisis”Very recognizable and that serves to establish contacts with the viewer and navigate with him through areas that he shares with some Taylor Sheridan titles, curiously more with ‘Comanchería’ (Hell or High Water, 2016) than with ‘Wind River’ (2017), with the that at first glance has more points in common, but from which it is separated through a more tempered sense of play.
The most dramatic part of Quílez’s film is reserved for a more distressing and dark third act, until the one that is reached after un shooting trip, chases, desperate escapes and a generous body count supporter of violence feral, with gore moments that don’t skip an ‘Irreversible’ (2002) or ‘Robocop’ (1987). Therefore, that more risky part could grind with the tone, but it reveals itself as a final coil that rounds out the experience, mainly thanks to a Karra Elejalde that does not fail.
Say that the interpretation of Javier Gutierrez it’s great it’s rain on wet, but here you get solidity and connection with the rest of the characters almost effortlessly, especially with Luis Callejo placeholder image, with whom it is not difficult to feel a special compassion. ‘Below zero‘has some script seams that come close to incongruous on occasion, but in return gets a little disheveled and shakes up the new dogmas of the national thriller offering a solid course of action and blood flavored with Friday night, within an always welcome matrix spanish gothic and misty morale.