Fumbling bumbling criminals
Enrique Torres | San Diegotitlan, Califas | 05/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, this is not "Pulp Fiction" Chilean style but it has a style of it's own. Part black comedy, part surreal action drama, this movie is for the most part captivating and entertaining. The main character, Johnny 100 pesos(small time criminal?)is a naive young thug who thinks very little and acts first. He's a dope who manages to get himself involved with some"professional" crooks who set out to heist a bank. Their clumsy attempt only creates more problems for them when they decide to take bank hostages. Enter the omnipresent media to portray a picture of victims and thieves in a hilarious manner. Johnnny is given particular attention has a profile of him is given by fellow students and teachers much like the media gives attention to our anti heroes with the inevitable response of "he was just an ordinary kid, who would have thought..........." This "Johnnny watch" is very funny as a different take is given daily from various perspectives to paint a picture of Johnnny. There is even a campaign to get Johnnny home safe. The thieves are in a no win situation surrounded by media and troops but they want a plane to Cuba and the usual hostage demands for safety. This in itself is very funny as they bicker among themselves about the attitudes of Castros Cuba towards foreigners who seek refuge there. The movie is pretty funny, remember it is a black comedy, so don't take it seriously. There are some serious moments but for the most part it is a farce. Johnny even gets "romantic" and lusts for one of the hostages and this creates further conflict as she is the bankers mistress. The story is understood on many different levels, part satire, part social commentary and action drama. A very entertaining look at how Chileans percieve the world around them. Not too heavy, light enough for even those on a diet from foreign films."
Smart crime film with a message
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 01/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another unknown but strong entry from South America in the crime drama category, Chilean director Gustavo Graef-Marino's Johnny 100 Pesos was a crowd pleaser at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994 (or 1995). Soon after Chilean dictator Pinochet was finally booted out of office, the actual events on which this film was based occurred. 17-year old Johnny Garcia teams up with four small time crooks to rob the illegal currency exchange operation hidden behind a video store in a commercial office building in Santiago. Unfortunately, Johnny--not an experienced crook by a long shot--leaves lying around his ID card which leads the policia to the whereabouts of him and his cronies.What makes this film a winner is the focus on the intensity of the events the director (also the script co-writer) brings to bear, especially Johnny's frenetic teenage psychology which experiences everything, as many teenagers do, to the max of emotional frenzy. For Johnny, crime and sex are ultra-passionate. Sex comes in the form of a former prostitute, now the secretary of the man running the illegal operation--his mistress--to whom Johnny is attracted and who's almost twice his age.This intensity drives the film forward; we're pulled into the story and just as easily pulled along as it steamrolls to its semi-tragic conclusion. Politics as well is a part of the story; political corruption, always an audience favorite worldwide, rears its ugly head, as does the need for responsible parent-children relationships. Hence the message.But it's really Johnny's film; the director does a great job of showing us the futility of all this passion when the result is...now what do I do?Recommended."
The first mainstream chilean movie
eL fRaNz | 07/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie spread interest for chilean movies in Chile, the movie bussines was at a low but this movie helped resurrect chilean cinema which from 4-5 movies a year in the mid 90's has leaped to over 20 in 2000.The movie is based on a real hostage situation."