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Naïve Canadian surfer Nick (Josh Hutcherson) finds himself totally out of his depth after he falls in love with local girl Maria (Claudia Traisac) in Medellin, Colombia - and belatedly discovers her seemingly philanthropic politician uncle’s real line of work.
In very loosely fact-based crime drama Escobar: Paradise Lost, Maria’s uncle is, of course, notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, and Nick can’t help but be drawn into his dangerous enterprise.
Benicio Del Toro’s Escobar is so lethally charismatic that the viewer will probably feel director Andrea Di Stefano should be spending more time with him than with Hutcherson’s callow hero. Yet after Nick’s innocent eyes are opened, the film does deliver a thrilling extended sequence of gut-tightening, sweaty-palmed suspense, although when you’ve caught your breath you’ll still wish you’d seen Del Toro in a straightforward Escobar biopic.
Certificate 15. Runtime 120 mins. Director Andrea Di Stefano
Escobar: Paradise Lost debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 24 November. Available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Universal Pictures UK.
A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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