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‘La Soga Salvation’ Review: A Very Inferior Set of Thrills

Arriving more than a decade after “La Soga,” a strikingly violent 2010 thriller about a hit man, Luisito (code name: La Soga), that was a rare thing — a film from the Dominican Republic that received distribution in the United States — “La Soga Salvation” is the quintessential sequel-nobody-asked-for. It’s a significant downgrade from the cliché-ridden but visually bracing first installment, transporting Luisito from the streets of his home country (much of the first film was shot in slum areas and working-class neighborhoods in and around Santiago and Baitoa) to a sterile New England town. The sequel does away with the original movie’s pointed commentary on crime and corruption in the Dominican Republic, opting for a more generic revenge-movie approach.

“Salvation” was presumably a kind of passion project for Manny Perez, the writer and star of the original movie: for the sequel, Perez takes on directing duties, too, making this his feature directorial debut. The story picks up years after the events of the first film. Luisito and his girlfriend, Lía (Sarah Jorge León), live in domestic bliss, in hiding from the big baddies of the Dominican underworld — until, naturally, they’re found.

A cartoonishly sinister white guy, Jimmy (Chris McGarry), shows up at the couple’s church demanding Luisito’s services to take out a cartel leader. Our hero refuses, prompting mayhem: Lía is kidnapped, and Luisito is forced to return to the way of the gun. Back on the job, he contends with miscellaneous crooks including Dani (Hada Vanessa), a leather-clad, sniper-rifle-equipped dame with a score to settle.

But Perez is a flimsy leading man, and the film around him — a modest production that doesn’t exactly hide its budgetary shortcomings — is at best a borderline campy B-movie with bursts of bloody action. At worst, it’s a completely self-serious slog.

La Soga: Salvation
Not rated. In Spanish and English, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour and 32 minutes. In theaters and available to rent or buy on Google Play, Vudu and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators.

Circassia News

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