Below Zero: Revenge Is Best Served Cold – Netflix Review

This Spanish-language revenge film brings us a harsh look at morality.

SUMMARY (Spoiler-Free)

Martin (Javier Gutiérrez) is a police officer who has a strong moral code, something that irks some of his fellow officers, like Montesinos (Isak Férriz). He is assigned for a late-night prison transport run with Montesinos which is supposedly completely covert. However, as the run gets foggier and snowier in the middle of nowhere, the prison convoy is attacked. It runs out that a man named Miguel (Karra Elejalde) needs one of the prisoners, Nano (Patrick Criado), and he is willing to kill everyone in the convoy to get him. At the same time, another prisoner, Ramis (Luis Callejo), masterminds an attempted break-out. Now Martin is going to have to deal with the prisoners, the lone gunman, and the freezing conditions in order to get home alive.

Driving into the void and the cold. Good times.

END SUMMARY

So, this is another movie where I felt like I had to look at it because it was number one on Netflix, something I don’t really expect from a Spanish-language film. Having looked at it, I… don’t really know why it was number one. It’s not a bad movie, to be sure, but there are much better movies on almost every level in the same kind of genre. Still, I watched it, so you people are going to hear about it. That’s how this relationship works.

Much like the relationships in the film, I guess.

Let’s go over the things that this film does right: It definitely keeps the danger and the tension ratcheting up throughout the story. Part of this is because it starts the film off with establishing that something sinister is being planned by Miguel, who clearly has few moral qualms about brutally torturing or killing people in order to get what he wants. At the same time, we see Ramis preparing, very elaborately, for his escape, so we know that both of these plots are eventually going to play out.  Also, the theme of morality plays out well. Miguel originally seems like a ruthless psychopath, particularly in contrast to the more inflexibly moral Martin. When it becomes clear what Miguel’s looking for, though, the whole thing becomes a lot more complicated and, ultimately, Martin’s moral hard-line is called into question. The performances are mostly pretty solid, particularly Miguel and Martin.

Fun times.

Then there are the weak points: A lot of what Miguel pulls off seems literally impossible. Some are cartoonishly impossible, like killing multiple people before any of them can use their radios, but naturally he can’t kill Martin with the same efficiency or the movie would be over. The cold environment, which should provide the ultimate threat, doesn’t factor in for more than a scene or two, really. Also, it’s a bit too long and several characters are massively underdeveloped.

Sure, puffy jackets solve everything.

Overall, it’s a pretty good movie on balance, but not something that needs to go to the top of your list.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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