It feels really weird talking about this film, since in a small way I am a part of it, casting wise. But still, I feel my part is small enough that I can talk about it without feeling like I’m giving it blind praise. This is the sequel to one of the few true cult films to ever come out of my island of Puerto Rico, Cannabis Cannibal, which had it’s share of faithful audiences without the need for exposure or distribution. The story involves a group of idiots, led by Manny and El Sargento, trying to survive a zombie apocalypse where their weapons include guns, machetes and the smoke of marihuana. The sequel continues with the Manny and El Sargento character, as they continue to survive the apocalypse, meeting new people in the process.
Just like the first one, the sequel is hilarious, mostly thanks to the dialogue. I don’t know whether it was scripted or not, but it sure has an air of improvisational material that just makes it sound better than it could have, particularly coming from El Sargento who steals most of the scenes away from Manny, who sometimes seems like he’s just tagging along for no other reason than to stay alive. There are a lot of new characters but only a few of them really stand out: the “Hijos De Puta”, a Mad Max-style gang of post-Apocalyptic warriors, will bring a smile to anyone who has a passion for post-Apocalyptic movies like After The Fall Of New York and The Bronx Warriors, since they’re cut out of the same mold. I hope the director Franco someday releases action figures based on these three. The other character that really stood out was called Korintio, I believe. I’m not sure who played this person (remember, I just got back from the premiere), but he basically stole the show from EVERYONE in the film. His line delivery and improvisation is incredible and made him to be the best and funniest character in the whole movie. I could watch a whole film based on this guy! Too bad he’s in only one scene. I also have to give Franco credit for doing beautiful work of the slower scenes in the film, the stuff where we get to see the beautiful passages of Puerto Rico. Franco, you got a real eye for beauty and these are without a doubt the best scenes in the film. I’d love to see what you’d make with a slower-paced movie.
Now for some flaws. I’m not going to talk about the technical aspects such as image and sound since Franco knows they’re flawed as well. My main complaint is that the film doesn’t have the appropriate pacing the original had. Some scenes go on for far too long, and for the most part give out information that is not really necessary, the most obvious being the sequence in the car after they pick up the young woman from the religious fanatic. The scene felt like an eternity and could have used some trims. Also, what’s the logic in dropping a nuke in PR and the bomb not taking over neighboring island, Vieques? I mean, I know it’s a comedy and it’s not supposed to be realistic, but the characters look as if they don’t even feel the shockwave when they get to our little neighboring island. I dunno why but that really bothered me.
To finish it off though, this is a great comedy. It made me laugh a lot and even my sister, who hates DIY cinema, loved it. Those are my two cents, Franco, now do your part and review El Viaje! You owe it!