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Che, Part Two-Reviewed

February 5, 2009

kevinby Kevin Egan • Operation Itch Contributing Writer   header 

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B

At the end of Che, Part One, viewers were left with quite a cliffhanger. After Castro (Demian Bichir) fell to his death in a field of vines and every enemy of Ernesto “Che” Guevara (Benecio Del Toro) had been eliminated through violent means, our protagonist had been dubbed heir to the thrown, while simultaneously shutting out his wife from his affairs. It was an unsettling moment as the door was closed so forcefully in her face. Still, we loved the Guevaras and desperately desired to see more of them. With Che, Part Two, director Steven Sodenbergh pulls no punches, giving us viewers the family epic we had been waiting for. Saturated with plot twists, celebrity cameos (Adam Sandler as Batista) and endings upon endings upon endings, this sequel supercedes the possibilities already established by other films, taking us into unexplored territories.

enecio Del Toro as Ernesto "Che" Guevara in the comedic romp, Che, Part Two.

enecio Del Toro as Ernesto "Che" Guevara in the comedic romp, Che, Part Two.

Part Two begins exactly where Part One left off, except this time around, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) returns to the present time to warn Che about his troubling children and the havoc they are wreaking in the future. This catapults Che on another wacky adventure, outsmarting his old nemesis, Biff (Thomas F.Wilson), and rescuing his family from danger. Then, once Che believes he is clear of all hijinks, an apparition of his mentor, Ben (performed elegantly by the late Alec Guinness) appears, instructing him to go to the Degoba system, to study with an old Jedi master named “Yoda.” While Che follows this path outlined for him by his old friend, his children find themselves in trouble once more, except this time it comes in the form of a shark. Luckily for them, a desperate-for-any-kind-of-work Michael Caine (as himself) shows up to help them in their struggle.

Just like in Part One, Del Toro is again magnificent in the triple roles of Guevara, his wife and his ornery grandfather. And although the “fat suit” he wears through the second half of the film will most likely earn the make-up team an Oscar nomination, it is what Del Toro does with the suit that one finds most appealing. His ability to conjure up deep and funny voices for all three of the characters, as well as contort his face to provide the most comic expressions, is a skill unrivalled in the cinema today. Robert DeNiro himself could do no better.

Without giving too much away in regards to the ending, Che, Part Twoborrows from the classic comedy, Clue, offering multiple endings, each shown separately, depending on which theatre you attend. If you’re like me, you’ll see it more than once, hitting every theatre in town, for no other reason than to ensure you catch all the unbelievable ways in which Che’s fate hangs in the balance. This one’s a keeper!

4 out of 5 stars.  Bring the kids!!!

 

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The year in film 2008

December 18, 2008

A.V. Club  • Noel MurrayKeith PhippsNathan RabinTasha RobinsonScott Tobias
see all posts in: Entertainment      Reviews      or  jump to most recent post

synecdochenewyork2previewNoel: Gang, a year ago at this time, we were so overwhelmed by the quality of the movies we were seeing that we actually came up with a feature where we looked back at other great years for movies, just for the sake of comparison. Well, that run sure didn’t last long, did it? I actually don’t think 2008 was a bad year for movies—I’m happy with my Top 10, and I can think of 10 to 15 more ’08 movies I’d recommend fairly strongly—but I certainly didn’t see much that I believe will stand the test of time the way the likes of No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood surely will. I didn’t see a lot of greatness, in other words, or even much that aspired to greatness. Outside of the daring, wonderfully confounding Synecdoche, New York, much of the real ambition in 2008 came from blockbusters like WALL-E and The Dark Knight (and even Hancock, to some extent). Those were the movies that stirred debate, and earned passionate defenders and detractors. As much as I like Milk—to name just one of the purportedly serious movies competing for our attention here at the end of the year—I don’t consider it a landmark piece of cinema that people will be discussing for decades to come.
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