As far as villains go, the 20th century had plenty of them. But of the few who reached real life comic book proportions, Pablo Escobar may have been one of the biggest. Practically running the small nation of Colombia with a cocaine empire that made Tony Montana look like smally fry in comparison, Escobar was a king. But like all monarchs, his reign eventually ended in blood and bullets. And of course, that makes for an interesting movie. From the perspective of an outsider that is.
Told from the perspective of Nick (Josh Hutcherson), an innocent surfer from Canada, Escobar: Paradise Lost unfolds during the final years of Escobar’s reign. Nick and his brother Dylan (Brady Corbet) set up a modest surfing retreat near Medellin, where Nick meets the woman of his dreams, Maria (Claudia Traisac), who is busy campaigning for her politician uncle. That uncle turns out to be Pablo (Academy Award-winner Benicio del Toro), who invites Nick to a party at his “cottage,” a sprawling, Xanadu-like jungle fortress. When he hears of the trouble Nick and Dylan are having with some local thugs, Pablo vows to “take care of it.” The thugs turn up dead, and suddenly Nick finds himself immersed in a world of wild extravagance, corruption and bloodshed – one he will find nearly impossible to escape.
There’s a lot of potential in this flick, and I like seeing Benecio flip from Del Weird to Del Toro between roles in movies. Escobar: Paradise Lost is out next year January.
Last Updated: November 14, 2014