Director: Joe Menendez
Writer: JoJo Henrickson
Cinematographer: Adam Silver
Starring: Fernando Colunga, Miguel Varoni, Saul Lisazo, Ivonne Montero
Studio/Running Time: Lionsgate, 98 min.
"'There must be some way out of here,'
Said the joker to the thief."
Bob Dylan "All Along the Watchtower"
Fernando Colunga became a major telenovela star through his performances in miniseries televised in Mexico
, many South American countries and the United States. So it is not entirely surprising that his first feature film aimed at a Spanish speaking U. S. audience would feel very similar. Unfortunately, the English subtitled Ladron que roba a ladron
(translation: a thief who steals from a thief) also contains the weaknesses of those telenovelas. Namely, weak acting and poor dialogue.
Colunga plays a small-time con artist who, along with his partner (Miguel Varoni), plans to rob a big-time con-artist infomercial-tycoon, Moctesuma Valdez (Saul Lisazo), who has made millions selling worthless cure-alls to Latino immigrants. Enlisting help from a poor man's Ocean's Eleven crew, they work to extricate Valdez's fortune from the heavily guarded vault at his estate.
Despite a unique twist on the Robin Hood tale, Ladron brings nothing refreshing to the table. The characters, such as a motherless tomboy mechanic being raised by her father, a computer nerd who infiltrates the security system and a muscle-bound construction worker, have all been seen before. And the rote dialogue is as predictable as the film's ending. But I do have a new appreciation for all the non-English speaking audiences who have had to sit through the likes of Daddy Day Camp or Glitter while enduring the added torture of reading their subtitles.