CARTEL 2045 (a.k.a. Juarez 2045) ** USA 2017 Dir: Chris Le 90 mins
As a small child I often wondered, as many of you probably did too, what things would be like in the future. Would it be like BLADERUNNER with the highly advanced technology and cool flying vehicles or would it be more like DEMOLITION MAN with its apparently peaceful society and beeping swearboxes?
I think huge thanks needs to go out to the 80’s and 90’s sci fi movies for these exciting prospects! Shame neither have happened but at least the imagination was there. Now, seemingly the creativity is waining for future generations, well at least it is with CARTEL 2045. The war on drugs is still raging, in Mexico the main drug cartel has enlisted the use of decommissioned US government military robots to terrorise the locals and gain supreme control of the area. With their already impressive arsenal of droids the Malvado cartel, headed up by Angel Malvado (none other then Danny Trejo) have kidnapped the government’s leading roboticist and his daughter (as a way of getting him to cooperate) to create the ultimate war machine. Recruited to break them out is a small team of marines joined by, most importantly, ex marine Carson Wright previously incarcerated due to a faulty chip implanted in his head that led to the decommissioning of the robots in the military in the first place and landed him in jail. The military strike a deal with Wright……take down the cartel to earn his freedom and return to his family but could this be an empty promise? As eluded to earlier this is not exactly the kind of futuristic escapade I was initially expecting. Yes it has robots which are pretty well done and some advanced forms of computer intelligence but other then that everything else was pretty much as is, not even a hint of a flying vehicle, in fact it’s pretty visually confused. They put a fair amount of effort into the FX of the robots yet the rest of the movie is shot with a grainy, Grindhouse effect that makes you think it’s a lot older. I’m pretty sure the majority of the budget was spent on the visual FX with the rest on Danny Trejo as the other cast members are largely unfamiliar (to me anyway) but they all do an acceptable job in their roles. Unfortunately there is a lot of typical macho too-ing and fro-ing of cheesy bullshit dialogue which bogs it down considerably but the plot is there underneath all the posturing. Trejo gets a bum deal with some of the worst lines, he manages to mumble a lot of them incoherently but considering he’s a seasoned pro and this is probably his millionth movie (just a guess) then you can’t really blame him for tiring of stuff like this. There is a small amount of gore but that too is CGI-ed to the max which doesn’t come across as good as the robots but thankfully there isn’t that much to endure. If it wasn’t for the robots, which in all honesty don’t feature all that much it’s hard to categorise it as sci fi, to me it’s more of a bottom end sweary action movie which will appeal to a few I’m sure but it wasn’t really my cup of tea.
Review by Sarah Budd