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The Motorcycle Diaries

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Motorcycle Diaries

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo de la Serna
Director: Walter Salles Jr.
Rated: R
RunTime: 128 Minutes
Release Date: September 2004
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Mia Maestro, Mercedes Moran, Jorge Chiarella, Jaime Azocar, Sofia Bertolotto, Ulises Dumont, Facundo Espinosa, Susana Lanteri, Jean Pierre Noher, Gustavo Pastorini

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

Before Che Guevara became a poster boy for leftists everywhere and before he led in the establishment of Hitler-like concentration camps and firing squads in totalitarian Cuba, he was a South American medical student. Walter Salles's THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES is a long, rambling and inconsequential ode to Che's pre-revolutionary youth, as Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna (Gael García Bernal) and fellow student Alberto Granado (Rodrigo De la Serna) tour their continent on one old motorcycle.

Although the picture has a few nice visuals, like a snow-covered mountain road, it is usually rather ugly, with grainy images and some handheld shots in which the camera appears to have been mounted on the back of a jackhammer. The film is full of pratfalls, as the two guys keep crashing their motorcycle as they drive it too fast on winding roads.

The story consists of little more than small vignettes of the guys pulling into various towns and making eyes at the local girls in bars or at dances. So little happens in the movie that it's quite hard to stay awake

I understand that there is a new film in Germany now that reveals Hitler's human side and shows how kind he could be in the right settings. Perhaps the two movies could be shown as a double feature, so long as this snoozer isn't shown first.

THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES runs a ridiculously long 2:08. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles. It is rated R for "language" and would be acceptable for teenagers.

Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes

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