Higuita: The Way of the Scorpion (2023) Movie Review – An entertaining mix of football and true crime

An interesting profile of football’s most colourful goalkeeper

In many ways, René Higuita was ahead of his time in terms of football goalkeepers. Most of the top goalkeepers at big clubs around Europe these days are expected to come out of their box and interact much more with play. But at the time Higuita was active, he was one of the few that actually performed the role of the “Sweeper Keeper.”

Netflix’s newest documentary, Higuita: The Way of the Scorpion, tells the story behind one of the best goalkeepers ever. It’s not exactly a straightforward narrative, and the documentary adopts this style for the film as it goes back and forth to discuss René Higuita’s colourful career with the people who knew him best. 

It charts his rescuing of a girl from kidnappers and his bizarre stint in prison for it, and it’s clear the Colombians loved him for his antics on and off the pitch. However, Higuita had links to Pablo Escobar, which threatened to derail his successful footballing career. He was friends with the notorious drug lord, and this led to a lot of his troubles off the field. The police hounded him, and he was given the choice of telling police where Escobar was in exchange for his freedom. 

The documentary is an intriguing mix of a footballing profile and true crime elements, and it’s a great watch. It would have been interesting to focus more on the kidnapping story, but his footballing career was so impressive that it had to take centre stage. In short, the documentary is a bit all over the place, but never boring and a must for both fans of football and non-football fans who are intrigued by a really interesting man. 

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  • Verdict - 7/10

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