Directed by Josh Crook
La Soga comes billed as a gritty exotic thriller, but it's really an exploitation film, with all the amateurism and by-the-bookiness that implies. Classic blaxploitation films purported a higher social value than their mainstream counterparts, but while shedding useful light on crime, poverty and drug use, they rarely had anything useful to say about them.Same here. A potentially interesting premise—immigrants deported from the U.S. end up as criminals back home—is buried under a mountain of genre convention: bombastic music, gritty photography, and hilariously hyper-masculine dialogue like "we're here to kill you for being a bad motherfucker! You're shit outta luck now!"
Our hero (Manny Perez, who also wrote) longs to be a simple vegetarian butcher (complex!) but has to rid the streets of drug dealers and corrupt politicians. (He engages in this freelance vigilantism, he explains, to "feed the animals.") There's also an old crime that must be avenged, a sexy new girlfriend, and a climatic shootout that apparently solves all the Dominican Republic's problems. This is all incredibly familiar, but it's heartening to see that with Hollywood ripping off so much from other countries, at least one is repaying the favor.
Opens August 13