Inhale

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Inhale

Illegal organ trafficking is undeniably serious; this tawdry message movie about the subject, however, most unequivocally isn't. The apparent long-lost sibling of 2007's sex-slavery melodrama Trade, this contemptible thriller from Icelandic director Baltasar Kormkur (Jar City) focuses on a New Mexico district attorney (Mulroney) who ventures into Jurez to find his dying daughter a pair of black-market lungs. Our neighboring country south of the border is then summarily depicted as a squalid hellhole full of crooked cops, corrupt politicos, cross-dressing extortionists and other assorted tequila-soaked scumbags intent on killing and stealing to their deviant hearts' content. So much for international diplomacy.

Everything is boiled down to its basest elements, from the one-note villains to the sub-Traffic color-coding (rotting greens for Mexico; cool blues for the DA's home; neutral tones for New Mexico government offices). But even with the grungy aesthetics and earnest preaching, Inhale is really nothing but crass topical exploitation, milking this social issue for every salacious drop. The forgotten poor may be the nominal victims here, preyed upon by those in both the halls of power and dingy barroom basements, but it's really the audience who suffers most from such gratuitously titillating, empty-headed twaddle.

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By: Nick Schager

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