In Escape From New York, when Snake Plissken goes to the president’s supposed location, he finds the president is not there. So, without knowing what else to do, he takes a seat and figures out a new plan attack. That’s right, in the middle of an urgent and desperation situation, with a time limit, the main character slows down to reassess. If an action film can slow down for a beat or two, any movie can. Sadly, writers Joe Leone and Ismael Gomez III, who also directs, did not get this memo concerning their film Death Of A Fool.
Herman (Mario Ernesto Sánchez) and his grandchild Pablo (Benji Leon) conduct investigations into the afterlife. They are hired by the mysterious Dee (Gene Gabriel) to infiltrate a strange cult that is hoarding a special fruit. This food is said to contain the secret to immortality. This appeals to the family members, as Herman is dying of cancer.
“Herman and his grandchild Pablo…are hired…to infiltrate a strange cult that is hoarding a special fruit.”
But they are very religious, so eating this forbidden fruit poses a moral quandary for both of them. Oh, and the cult is run by Herman’s sister, Irene (Zully Montero), who Herman is considering awarding custody of Pablo to after he passes. Of course, he does not think to consult the teenager about any of this. Throw in Pablo’s best friend Beatrice (Isadora Leiva), who is along for the ride, and a murder subplot just for good measure.
There is a lot to really enjoy in Death Of A Fool, starting with the acting. Leon is exceptional as the teen Pablo. He imbues the character with a headstrong willfulness that works perfectly for how he is written. When confronting his grandfather on how distracted he has been since they’ve gotten to the cult, Leon sells his frustrations with Herman very well. Sánchez is equally as good as the resolute yet caring grandpa. At one point, Herman has to lie to Irene about why he has shown up at her place. Sánchez sells the uncomfortableness of his character perfectly. It helps that he and Leon play off each other well.
Montero is suitably creepy and cutthroat, while still being pretty funny as the antagonistic Irene. As the enigmatic Dee Gene Gabriel shines. His deadpan delivery gets huge laughs every time. Levia is infectiously sweet as Beatrice and helps calm the occasionally over-the-top antics to a more grounded level.
"…plays out exactly as if you should already be familiar with these characters..."