A decent Spanish biographical drama
Back in 2002, Steven Spielberg released Catch Me If You Can, a movie about Frank Abagnale, a skilled forger who run rings around the US authorities. With a witty tone, likable characters and a solid premise, the movie remains a great watch to this day.
Since then (and even before that to be fair) there have been a number of other shows and movies released depicting cat and mouse games between authorities and rebels, the proverbial Robin Hood story of taking from the rich and giving to the poor. It’s clear from this illustrious history that any film attempting to jump into the same sort of premise has a steep mountain to climb to stand out. That much is especially true when it comes to Spanish movie A Man Of Action, which is now streaming on Netflix.
Loosely inspired by the life of Lucio Urtubia, the movie explores the history of this enigmatic Spanish anarchist, a man who pulled off a legendary counterfeiting operation in Paris. With fake Traveler’s Cheques handed out, America’s biggest bank – City Bank – cast their gaze on Lucio and attempted to take him down.
Before any of this takes place though, the movie spends a considerable amount of time introducing Lucio and his backstory, beginning back in the 40’s with Lucio’s upbringing and just why he hates the system so much. After the death of his father, Lucio is eventually introduced to Quico, a charismatic Anarchist who teaches him the tricks of the trade, along with a crucial bit of advice – never trust a stranger.
Most of the movie zips by at a pretty fast pace and that, unfortunately, doesn’t fare well for the characters. While Lucio is consistently engaging and watchable, everyone else feels a little half-baked and under-developed. Anne in particular isn’t given much time in the limelight, which is disappointing given it would have been nice to see her reaction to everything that’s happening without Lucio being in the picture too.
Aesthetically, everything here looks pretty good and the shots of Paris are a particularly nice touch. The costuming and dialogue are both compelling and believable, while the music is certainly fitting for the tone this film is gunning for.
A Man Of Action isn’t a particularly trying or difficult biography, and it’s pretty simple in its delivery. There’s a lot to like with this one though, and the fast pace and energetic time jumps helps to give this movie some much-needed momentum. It’s not without its flaws, but this is a decent way to kill a few hours all the same!
Read More: A Man Of Action Ending Explained
Verdict - 7/10