A pulpy, old-fashioned cat-and-mouse thriller, Desierto pulls no punches – but offers few surprises – as it exhaustedly staggers towards its high-octane conclusion.
Desierto makes no bones about what it is. Generic dialogue and skin-deep characters are gamely overcome by the ever-reliable Bernal with strong support from Morgan and Hidalgo, but the primary aim of Desierto is unashamedly to entertain – something it fully achieves.
Competently if unspectacularly shot, scored and directed, Desierto could have been more had better care been taken over its paper-thin script. All credit, however, must go to both Desierto‘s dog handler and sound team, whose work shines brightest.
Those expecting Desierto to subvert or experiment with the thriller genre will be disappointed – but if it’s solid genre thrills you seek, you could do a lot worse.
CAST: Gael García Bernal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Alondra Hidalgo
DIRECTOR: Jonás Cuarón
WRITERS: Jonás Cuarón, Mateo Garcia
SYNOPSIS: A group of Mexicans attempting to cross the border into the United States are confronted with a gun-wielding vigilante determined to keep them out.
Desierto was screened in Official Competition at the 2015 London Film Festival.