Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Traffic (2000)

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “It’s the high-stakes, high-risk world of the drug trade as seen through a well-blended mix of interrelated stories: a Mexican policeman (Benicio Del Toro) finds himself and his partner caught in an often deadly web of corruption; a pair of DEA agents (Don Cheadle and Luis Guzman) work undercover in a sordid and dangerous part of San Diego; a wealthy drug baron living in upscale, suburban America is arrested and learns how quickly his unknowing and pampered wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) takes over his business; and the US President’s new drug czar (Michael Douglas) must deal with his increasingly drug-addicted teenage daughter.”

What Did I Learn?: Mexico gets a lot of sunlight, which must be why every scene that takes place in that country appears to have been shot through an orange lens.

You Might Like This Movie If: You think He-Man makes a lot of sense.

Really?: Would the US ‘drug czar’ really drive around the mean streets of Cincinnati after dark, chatting up low-level dealers in search of his daughter? Wouldn’t he and his wife probably hire a private investigator, or – hey, here’s an idea – ask the FBI for a favour?

Rating: Traffic deservedly won four Academy Awards, including Best Director. It’s a very good movie (although a bit long), and an excellent critique of the ‘War on Drugs’. My only complaints would be: a) as in the case of Scarface, the political message is a bit heavy-handed, and b) I really wanted to see Michael Douglas kick the crap out of Topher Grace at the end. 9/10 stars.

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