Writer: Andrea Di Stefano (Screenplay)
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hutcherson, Brady Corbet, Claudia Traisac, Tenoch Huerta, Ana Giradot
Plot: In Colombia, a young surfer meets the woman of his dreams – and then meets her uncle, Pablo Escobar.
Tagline – Nobody escapes Pablo Escobar.
Runtime: 2 Hours
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Strong Second Half
Story: Escobar: Paradise Lost starts as Canadian surfer Nick (Hutcherson) has moved to Columbia to start a business with his friend Dylan (Corbet) giving surfing lessons, he meets a beautiful local woman Maria (Traisac) falling in love along the way, only to learn that her Uncle is Pablo Escobar (Del Toro).
Nick does get welcomed into the family with what starts as a friendly welcome from a political figure, but soon Pablo shows the darker side, which both Nick and Maria want to escape from, but know if they run, they will end up like most of the victims against Pablo, dead.
Thoughts on Escobar: Paradise Lost
Characters – Pablo Escobar is the know criminal drug lord, here we meet him as a family man first, who will always welcome honest people into his family before showing his darker side, which will show how deadly it is to cross the man, with his ability to strike fear into the people of Columbia. Nick is a surfer that just wants to live in paradise, where he meets a beautiful woman, only he gets drawn into the life of crime by her uncle, where he is torn between going through with crimes or risking his own life. Maria is the woman that Nick falls in love with, they both want to enjoy the paradise they are living in, even if her Uncle has deadlier plans.
Performances – Benicio Del Toro is strong in the leading role and shows the emotionless state of mind of the crime lord, while Josh Hutcherson does show us just how desperate his character become through the situation he finds himself in. the rest of the cast are fine without needing to do as much as the leads in the film.
Story – The story here follows a surfer that finds himself working for crime lord Pablo Escobar against his will after starting to date his niece. The story does show us how innocent the romance starts out being, your typical boy meets girl, before it shows how much control Pablo Escobar had on everyone around him, striking fear into anyone that was against him by killing anyone he didn’t like. We see how Nick is trying to find a way out of this hell, to be with the love of his life and the consequences of being in this world. The first half of this story is slow moving, but once Nick is given his assignment, things get a lot more intense.
Crime/Romance – The romance side of this film is your typical boy meets girl, it is all sweet until he meets the family, which does show us the crime world that we are thrown into under the crime lord who isn’t afraid to kill people, including family.
Settings – The film does use the backdrop of Columbia well, it shows that the paradise would be a beautiful place to wake up to and how the deals could happen without people knowing.
Scene of the Movie – Nick’s mission.
Final Thoughts – This is a crime thriller that starts slowly but once we hit the half way mark it becomes edge or your seat battle between Nick and Escobar’s men.
Overall: Could have been saved with a stronger start.