Escobar: Paradise Lost
Time Out says
A young surfer comes face to face with evil when he starts dating the daughter of a notorious drug kingpin in this so-so drama
The title may suggest otherwise, but this isn’t strictly a biopic of the notorious Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar. Instead, first-time director Andrea Di Stefano opts for a ‘Goodfellas’-style saga in which a naive interloper learns that Escobar’s operation plays by the most ruthless rules. Josh Hutcherson is holidaying Canadian surfer Nick, who falls for the cocaine king’s beloved niece – making so many dumb decisions you’ll be throwing your hands in the air in disbelief.
It’s as much inaction and fear rather than the seductive power of hard cash that lands him in too deep, though by the time Di Stefano gets some effective tension going it’s too late. Benicio Del Toro, though, is tremendous as Escobar, switching effortlessly from teddy-bear charm to cold-blooded monster, even if the contradiction between loving family man and scary crimelord is at least as old as ‘The Godfather’. He towers over everything else here (with the exception of Max Richter’s typically classy score), in a performance which really deserved a better movie.
Cast and crew