Thursday, March 17, 2011


It is not rocket science to understand why the science fiction made in Mexico has a very small tradition, where the involuntary humor of the masked fighters (luchadores) and the misery of titles like “the planet of the invading women” predominate. The structural deficiencies of Mexican film industry, low achievement within the internal market, null foreign distribution, not to mention the competition with foreign films, that in case of Hollywood science fiction that has the additional advantage of a great production design and special effects that Mexican film makers except for 2 or 3 cannot achieve, not even in wet dreams.

Any attempt to practice this genre in Mexico must be seen with a mix of affection and sympathy, because you need to have “big balls” to measure up to films like Star Trek or Avatar when there is no budget and distrust, good intentions are not enough to avoid a ridiculous situation. In the case of 2033 there is an additional element that makes fear the worst. The premise is that Mexico in 2033 is governed by a military dictatorship that has prohibited any religious practice, this is the reason why the heroes in this story will obviously be a group of believers who will fight to the regime inspired by their faith. When we hear this plot, one automatically thinks about messes like Santa Muerte. However Francisco Laresgoiti and Jordi Marshal, director and screenwriter respectively of 2033, do not go this low.

The main problem of 2033 is that in the script everything is about common places. The precedent to films like Logan's Run, THX-1138 or Fahrenheit 451 is so great that the film never acquires its own personality. The argument follows the scheme of this mentioned titles, with a protagonist who is part of the system, until a series circumstances makes him question his beliefs, reason why he finally decides to join the opposition. In addition 2033 is the first part of a trilogy, reason why the story does not have a real ending. The ninety minutes are employed in presenting/displaying a series of stereotypes that any science fiction fan will recognize from previous films, placed in a blurred atmosphere and with a lack of rhythm that exasperates. Since the story does not display any newness, we could hope that the producers at least would strive to create a reasonable vision of what the Mexican society would be within a quarter of century. They could be amused imagining fashions and musical styles or at least make references to some present situation.

Besides that, there is only an outline of what could be a dance club/bar at that time plus some images of Mexico City with architectural additions created digitally. We can also mention an early scene with a bunch of extras that wear white robes in the science fiction style of the 60’s, although soon enough you will realize why they are i dressed like that because they work in the pharmaceutical industry of Dr. Simi Stam and that is just their uniform.

In a genre where the visual aspect is so important the stylistic poverty of 2033 is quite obvious. The futurist touch does not reach to disguise the simple routine of the scene. There are lots of scenes where the characters cross through corridors, go up and down stairs or have discussions around a table. 2033 repeats one of the worse vices of the Mexican cinema of any genre, which is to try to solve everything on the basis of dialogues.

Nothing better to illustrate point this than the attack of the rebels that by the lack of money is reduced to a brief news montage. If this is already boring it is even worse by the need to extend a simple story so that it lasts 90 minutes. Something that could be easily told in half an hour is extended to include scenes that keep repeating things that or we had seen to the point of exhaustion like Pablo’s drug addiction, flashbacks which explain details that had been already clear or trivial moments like when the hero learns how to clean a toilet. I think that the less responsible for the poor results are the actors. To request them to do something interesting with such undefined characters, would be just like asking them to revive a corpse. Claudio Lafarga spends almost the entire film in frame and not even then the director makes Pablo to have his own life. Marco Antonio TreviƱo has a hard time trying to do something decent with the heroic priest, although without a doubt the most harmed by the script was Sandra Echeverria, she had to play the most uninteresting role, in a film where these characters exceed.

Perhaps based on the stuff aforementioned, the religious message of 2033 seemed irrelevant. 2033 is mediocre no matter what you are focusing on. Only for those who are already convinced that the problems of the country would be solved returning to the traditional values, will be identified with what they see on the screen. It is the problem of the cinema with a moral tale, mainly when it is as clumsy as this film.

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