The dramatic thriller Loco, written and directed by Justin Galindo, tells a story that has been told time and time again. A young man, Alex (Tim Torre), in desperate need of money, turns to selling drugs. In this case, it is the titular Loco, which was created and cooked by the charmingly manipulative Lester (Craig Stark). Lester is the local kingpin, having his hand in just about everyone’s cookie jar, whether they like it or not. He even metes out the old classic of “protection” to local businesses.
Alex, whose troubled childhood means he has a tense relationship with cops, finds himself falling for Lydia (GeffriMaya), who also sells for Lester. But after another pusher, Jason (Maestro Harrell), is killed by a rival drug lord, the young lovers find their lives in peril. Not helping matters is that it appears the FBI is hot on Lester’s trail, only a few short steps away from taking down the operation. Can Alex and Lydia get out of the business before they end up on the wrong side of a bad deal? Does Galindo find a fresh new take on well-worn material?
“…after another pusher…is killed by a rival drug lord, the young lovers find their lives in peril.”
With Loco, Galindo does a seamless job of jumping between each narrative thread, so the only question on the viewer’s mind is whose loyalty lies where. While it hits the expected beats of a movie about selling drugs, Galindo has written characters with enough depth and personality to make it all reasonably engaging. Lester is especially interesting, as he uses tactics to ensure that Alex only relies on him and nobody else. This manipulative angle is a nice change of pace from the violence-approach seen in other movies of this ilk.
As a director, Galindo is acceptably okay. No shots seem to be out of focus or anything, but there is a lack of style that feels at odds with the storyline’s intensity. This is very much a point-and-shoot picture. However, along with editor Reggie Coleman, he keeps Loco moving at a steady pace, so it is never dull. Plus, the dialogue is snappy, with a scene at a diner between Lydia and Alex, as they discuss their lives, turning on a dime into something ominous.
"…suffers from The Incredible Hulk syndrome."