cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

Buy the Poster

Che aka Guerilla

Starring Benicio Del Toro, Benjamin Bratt, Demián Bichir, Santiago Cabrera, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Julia Ormond, Lou Diamond Phillips, Franka Potente, Edgar Ramirez, Victor Rasuk, Rodrigo Santoro, Kahlil Mendez
Screenplay by
Directed by Steven Soderbergh

IN SHORT: A simmering epic that never hits boil. Part I wins over Part II. [Rated R for some violence. Part 1: The Argentine 131m, Part 2: Guerilla 131m]

There shall come a time towards the end of your year when there shall be an avalanche of things serious and epic. Some bad. Some unending. Some, a bright shining star that will remind you that there is good to be found in the mountains of film dross that a reviewer sifts through all year long.

Steven Soderbergh's Che, at least and most thankfully, comes with a fifteen minute intermission in the middle of its four plus hour packaged bio of Fidel Castro's number two revolutionary. It begins with the first meeting of the exiled revolutionary (Castro) and the volunteer Argentine doctor (Guevara) whose political philosophies align and target the despicable military dictator of Castro's beloved Cuba; one General Batista. Eighty men set out from Mexico to try to cross the Cuban border unseen and raise rabble throughout the countryside. Years pass. The revolution is a success and those in charge now find themselves in the same positions they sought to destroy. Ah, viva la revolution!

Of course, if you were to ask my why Che was seduced by the Communist cause or how he determined that Castro was the proper ticket to revolution or anything else that would  normally be worked into the background material of a good script, pay very close attention. Most of those answers, if they are truly there and not a figment of my imagination, are buried in bits and pieces of dialog discarded long before it becomes truly for the story to repeat them. Epics seem to have this problem as a rule. They state the objective, somewhere along the way lose focus, and need to restate. In the case of Soderbergh's Che, the objective is stated and obtained and, when Guevara decides the revolution has lost its fire, he heads off to start another one in Bolivia.

That's the way it;'s supposed to be done! So thanks to the creative team for sticking to the facts and to Benecio del Toro for his terrific characterization of Che, for without that, we would have had no reason to come back for the second two  hour film. In Part Two, everything goes to pieces in Bolivia and by the time it is done, we walk out knowing more about a bit of history that has had absolutely no effect on our life whatsoever.

Those of the proper generations may well remember the fear of a Communist nation off the Florida coast in the late fifties and early sixties. Everyone else google "Bay of Pigs Invasion." Cranky is of the very last generation to do the "duck and cover" nonsense and can barely remember talk of invading Cuba (among the parental units in the next room where we, at 6, were not allowed). Che is about none of that. It focuses strictly on the man and the country, buries his lies in the background of scenes that will eventually follow them and keeps us wanting to get to the end to figure out what the point of sitting for four hours in the dark was.

Frankly, there isn't much of a point.

Che, the epic, is just too much about someone who was; even for a person of my generation who actually knew who he was, inconsequential to regular American life. Che is professionally made and very well acted and constructed. If it wasn't, our audience would have walked out at the intermission. None did. Of the two halves, the first offers much more in the way of character and action and piques your interest. The second part is mostly a Hunt and Kill story.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Che, he would have paid . . .


Rent. For those preferring the big screen sit, we recommend part 1 over part 2; The former works as a unit. The latter requires seeing the former. Anyway you choose, Che is a long sit.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Steven Soderbergh
Click to buy films starring Benicio del Toro
Click to buy films starring Benjamin Bratt

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.