A short time ago I reviewed Che: Part 1 (The Argentine)
and claimed that it wasn’t a film in itself and needed a resolve which I had presumed would be in Part 2 (Guerrilla). I was wrong. After about 6 minutes into part two of Steven Soderbergh
’s epic tale you realise that the second film (as well as the first) has no intention of resolving anything. In addition to this, you notice how despite not being in a rush to tell the story (Part 1 was 126 minutes and Part 2 is 131 minutes), a very vague screenplay
was devised. You could watch both of the Che movies and after a bum-numbing 4 and a bit hours you still wouldn’t know anything more than you already did by staring at his silhouette
on a student's t-shirt.
So how does Che Part 2 hold up against its predecessor
? Is it the better half? A more important question though is why Benicio Del Toro
and the film that he plays in, lacking in Oscar nominations
After helping overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba, Guevara moved on to foment revolutions in Africa, eventually being captured and killed by counter-insurgency rangers in the mountains of Bolivia, backed by the CIA
If this film were to be believed (which of course it must be since Hollywood never ever lies), we are experiencing the second half of Ernesto “Che” Guevara: a man who would selflessly help a semi-blind child
, yet murder anyone who wasn’t wearing an appropriate uniform. What a lovely chap he must’ve been!
One of the biggest problems I have with film is the need to describe everything over a two hour running time as “epic”. The biggest problem with this adjective is it tends to imply a great deal more than just length (those of you with a childish mind please stay with me). It implies grandeur
. Che Part 1 and 2 may well be long as long can be but they simply lack the grandeur of other more worthy epics. If I were to ask a smart-arsed person “how long is a piece of string
”, they would probably answer “twice the length from the middle to the end
”. Despite hating them for this quite condescending answer (to my condescending question) I would have to agree with them. If I asked the same question to a movie buff I may just get the answer: “Much much shorter than the Che epic. That is why I'd prefer to watch a piece of string for 4 hours
”. This is taking length to silly proportions. It is almost as if everyone in the movie thought it a bad idea to incorporate an editing suite into the budget. The fact that it is split into two would indicate at least a 30 second visit to the aforementioned suite and I imagine it was just that.....30 BLOODY SECONDS!
Che is simply not in a hurry to tell a story. In fact it is not only unhurried but it takes you to a new level of boredom and then leaves you there for an hour. I have nothing against these types of films but I go to the cinema to watch good movies. I do not go to the cinema to sleep (and God; did I want to).
Despite my claims that Che Part 2 was as exciting as attempting self amputation of my favourite leg with a kitchen towel, this should not detract from Benicio Del Toro’s performance as the man himself. He played his part overall well and for someone who has spent most of the time on screen for that length is quite a feat.
Strangely, for a film named “Guerrilla” you’d think that there would be more gunshots fired. In fact for the majority of the time you watch everyone carrying their guns in different positions but firing them only on rare occasions. Perhaps that was quite deliberate due to the fact that we didn’t need to see gunfire as it can be assumed from the offset. Unfortunately these gun-calisthenics just look a bit silly with a whole group of them raising and lowering the arms as if someone had told them that they could lose 30 pounds by doing so.
I was looking forward to Che: Part 2 (Guerrilla) as I thought that the story would improve from the first. Sadly the anticipation I felt was destroyed the second I had to sit through another lengthy map sequence; naming and placing all of the locations spoken about on film. This was the point when I realised that however Che Part 1 (The Argentine) finished, that would be it and I could expect a similarly swift ending in Part 2. Sadly the ending didn’t come for what seemed like an eternity.
Che Part 2 was too long (by 2 hours), vaguely written, had no depth and made the first one look like a masterpiece (which it was not). Benicio Del Toro was in excellent form and should have been recognised for doing so. Unfortunately he was ultimately let down by the fact that someone should have taken a large pair of scissors to Steven Soderbergh’s “epic”. It is called an “editing suite” Mr Soderbergh! Learn the location of your nearest one! Bring a pillow!
Rating: 1.5 out of 5