Road to Juarez

Road to Juarez

2015, NR, 84 min. Directed by David Ponce de Leon. Starring William Forsythe, Walter Perez, Charley Koontz, Romina Peniche, Adal Ramones.

REVIEWED By Josh Kupecki, Fri., April 24, 2015

Alas, Road to Juarez is not a reboot of the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby film series, but another pedestrian entry into the “petty criminals get in way over their heads” subgenre of crime drama. There are clever ways to use time jumps in a film, but when you use five of them in the first 10 minutes (“20 years ago,” “Six weeks ago,” “Two days from now,” “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …”), you are unnecessarily trying to confuse your audience in what turns out to be a pretty conventional narrative about friendship, kidnapping, and Mexican drug cartels. Jacob (Perez) and Robbie (Koontz) are shown in flashback stealing sodas and cupcakes in L.A., as kids, before we snap to the present day when they hook up with Robbie’s uncle, Doug (Forsythe), who hips them to his business of stealing film equipment from sets, and that escalates into a kidnapping problem involving the wife of an incarcerated cartel kingpin. It seems some disgruntled henchmen are upset that their druglord is going legit, so they kidnap Robbie and the kingpin’s son, and the rest of the film follows Jacob and co. trying to track them down. Look, any film that has a father/daughter police team (pretty sure any department would want to shy away from that coupling), and lines of dialogue such as “he’s a jack-off, but he’s OK,” is in desperate need of revisions. Add to that subplots involving cocaine hidden in taxidermied animals, and double-triple-quadruple crosses, and you have the makings of a half-baked thriller that looks pretty good (that second-unit stuff in Mexico City is tight) and performances that aren’t half-bad, but at the end of the day it’s some neo-noir nonsense that makes those post-Tarantino movies from the mid-Nineties look like Chinatown. No mames.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More William Forsythe Films
88 Minutes
Al Pacino stars in this dull and formulaic procedural.

Marc Savlov, April 25, 2008

Michael Myers is back in this "reimagining," courtesy of Rob Zombie.

Marc Savlov, Sept. 7, 2007

More by Josh Kupecki
Fallen Leaves
Finland's master of understated absurdity shakes off retirement

Dec. 1, 2023

Carpet Cowboys
The American dream crumbles in the Carpet Capitol of the World

Nov. 17, 2023


Road to Juarez, David Ponce de Leon, William Forsythe, Walter Perez, Charley Koontz, Romina Peniche, Adal Ramones

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle