Medellin Parent Guide
A fair exchange. Or a really bad idea.
Parent Movie Review
Stan (Franck Gastambide), Reda (Ramzy Bedia), and Chafix (Anouar Toubali) are good friends, spending their time together at Reda’s boxing gym in France. Reda’s younger brother, Brahim (Brahim Bouhlel), never got into boxing though. Instead, he makes a living impersonating late drug lord Pablo Escobar on the internet, even growing out a moustache emulating the cartel kingpin. Unfortunately, his activities have brought him some unwanted attention from the Medellin cartel, now run by a man known as El Diablo (Raymond Cruz), who promptly abduct Brahim and demand a ransom.
With neither the temperament nor the funds to ransom his brother, Reda gathers up his friends and makes for Colombia to rescue Brahim. What Reda lacks in planning he hopes to make up through sheer determination – and determination (and a little cocaine) gets him further than he expects. The trio manage to abduct El Diablo’s son, Don Nacho (Ariel Sierra), and contact El Diablo for a prisoner exchange. The only problem is that Brahim was never abducted in the first place: he staged it to try and get more attention online. Now Reda, Stan, and Chafix have the son of the most dangerous cartel leader in Colombia tied up in their hotel room and nowhere to go…
The editing in this movie is of sufficiently miserable quality that, despite taking ibuprofen before I even started watching it, I still ended up with a headache. It’s like someone accidentally left the film within reach of a four-year-old with a reel of tape and safety scissors. There are a ton of random, unmotivated cuts that add nothing to the visual storytelling and turn the film into the visual equivalent of a mild seizure. The story is simple enough, but the cinematography is borderline incoherent.
I think this is probably the French equivalent of The Hangover films. A group of unbearable morons goes on a trip, get absolutely cranked on drugs and alcohol, wake up involved in serious criminal activity, and then at some point, Mike Tyson shows up. I have some thoughts about Mr. Tyson’s acting chops, but I wear glasses and therefore need to keep both my ears attached to my head somewhat more than other people, so I’ll leave him alone. Suffice to say that this is not a film bound for the festival circuit or awards ceremonies.
Parents are more likely to be concerned with the graphic violence, frequent profanity, and drug use than they are with the caliber of the performances. I think the plot synopsis let the cat out of the bag that Medellin doesn’t provide an hour and a half of family fun, but it certainly lives down to your expectations. Perhaps the kindest thing I can say about the film is that the characters are less abrasively irritating than I suspected – they’re merely stupid, and that’s intentional. It would be a lot harder to get smart characters into these situations, but I suspect it’s going to be equally challenging to get an audience to sit through this dreck.Directed by Franck Gastambide. Starring Anouar Toubali, Brahim Bouhlel, Raymond Cruz. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release June 2, 2023. Updated June 2, 2023
Rating & Content Info
Why is Medellin rated 16+ (Amazon)? Medellin is rated 16+ (Amazon) by the MPAA
Violence: People are frequently hit, shot, blown up, and bitten by dogs. A man’s legs are bitten off by a shark.
Sexual Content: There are several scenes which take place in a strip club, although no actual nudity is seen. A man rectally conceals a tracking device, mercifully off-screen. There are several instances of sexually suggestive language. There is a scene containing brief male posterior nudity in a locker room.
Profanity: The script contains 44 sexual expletives, 21 scatological curses, and constant use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking and smoking, and under the influence of cocaine. Cocaine is seen being packaged and stored.
Page last updated June 2, 2023
Medellin Parents' Guide