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Optic Fiber
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by Scott Weinberg

"Looking for a siesta?"
2 stars

Optic Fiber (a.k.a. Fibra Optica) is proof positive that the ‘mediocre crime drama/mystery/thriller’ is not a uniquely American concept. Though I feel a bit inadequate to review a film so far removed from my own culture (and the American schlock I’m so accustomed to by now), I can safely say that this is one dull movie.

Could some of my disapproval stem from culture shock and my own ignorance in relation to the Mexican movie industry? Sure, but none of that changes the fact that I fell asleep twice watching this movie. (And I’d just had a cup of coffee, too!) Imagine the latest Ashley Judd/Morgan Freeman/Sandra Bullock/Gene Hackman potboiler, plop it in the middle of Mexico, and subtract about 75% of the budget. That’s what this movie feels like.

Through the magic of subtitles and graphic murder, I was able to glean one of the more important plot lines: a young woman is unjustly accused of murdering a prominent businessman (see: underworld crime guy) and is whisked away to a lab somewhere to be pumped full of drugs. An arts editor for the local newspaper is offered the job of discovering who the ‘real’ killer was and, along with his trusty girlfriend, sets out to do just that.

Along the way there are the requisite red herrings, plot turns, assassination attempts, nefarious characters who end up innocent - and vice versa. Heck, even if this were an American studio flick, I bet I’d have been just as confused.

Apparently this flick won Best Screenplay in Mexico’s ‘Ariel Awards’, so Fibra Optica could be the Mexican version of L.A. Confidential for all I know! But when you find it impossible to follow a movie that you’re watching and reading at the same time, that's not a good sign. I may not be any kind of expert on International Cinema, but I sure do know when a movie’s pulling an ‘el Sominexo’ on me.

Those with an affinity for Mexican cinema and/or one cultural bone in their body should feel free to ignore my dismissals and decide on this flick for themselves. (Foreign relations and all…)

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originally posted: 09/05/02 15:18:49
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User Comments

10/09/02 edgar valenzuela A film made on 600,000 U.S. dollars and better than your usual american fare 4 stars
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