Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's INTACTO, an eclectic mixture of UNBREAKABLE, TOUCH and
SERIES 7, is an enigmatic film that's too clever for its own good. It's a
conundrum not worth solving, and it's the type of mindbender that will have you
turning to your companion afterwards and asking, "What was that all about?"
The story concerns a group of people who steal other people's luck -- and their
photos. These hyper-lucky, but always miserable, folks get their adrenaline
rushes by engaging each other in luck competitions in which the losers end up at
least seriously injured and sometimes dead. Usually they blindfold themselves
in order to up the ante. These trials include running blindfolded across a busy
six-lane highway at night and sprinting through a forest full of very big,
The award for the ending competition is "the bragging rights to being the
luckiest man on earth." The current champion is a Holocaust survivor named
Samuel (Max von Sydow). Challenging him will be Tomás (Leonardo Sbaraglia), a
criminal, who, like Bruce Willis in UNBREAKABLE, was the only person left intact
after a major crash -- this time of an airplane rather than a train. Samuel and
Tomás will play a special game of Russian roulette in which the odds of living
Lucio Godoy's scoring is especially effective in setting an eerie and unsettling
mood. INTACTO is sometimes intriguing, but the director is never able to give
us any reason to care or to explain the characters' motivations. The likely
answer to the aforementioned "What was that all about?" is "Who cares?"
INTACTO runs 1:48. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles and in
English. It is rated R for "language, some violence and brief nudity" and would
be acceptable for teenagers.
Copyright ę 2002 Steve Rhodes