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Review Retribution a.k.a. El desconocido (2015): Highly unlikely but nonetheless very engaging thriller!

genre: thriller






This film is based on a premise that seems a little far fetched and impractical. However it never feels improbable. Because you very happily want to suspend disbelief and actually get very little time to think about certain flaws or plot holes. Find out why that is.

Retribution a.k.a. El desconocido (meaning: unknown) starts with introducing us to a banker named Carlos (Luis Tosar) who seems very dedicated to his job and much lesser so to his kids and wife. Nothing seems out of the ordinary other than that the wife clearly has some beef with him especially when on a whim he decides to take his children to school. Wife Marta (Goya Toledo) gives him grief for this since apparently she had asked him before. But he couldn't and therefore was forced to change her plans. Naturally this looks like your typical spouse never listens issue and Carlos thinks nothing of it since he is completely oblivious to the deeper rooted anger within her. How can he if he is so preoccupied with his work. Shortly after driving away Carlos receives an unknown call who tells him that a bomb is placed under his seat and that it will explode if he doesn't transfer a large sum of money quickly. At first he is under the assumption it's a prank call until he gets called again. Now Carlos checks his seat and begins to believe the threat is real. Naturally scared and in full panic since of all the days he has brought his son Marcos (Marco Sanz) and teenage daughter Sara (Paula del Río) with him. Now this may appear like your average B movie thriller plot if it weren't for the performances by two actors in particular. First Luis Tosar. The guy is phenomenal. He basically can play any role he puts his mind to. Even knowing that he has been neglecting family life a little and the fact that he is a banker you can't help but feel sympathy for him. Plus he brings an intensity to his role that makes him very believable. The second is Paula del Rio. At first she plays the typical bratty teen who defies her parents whenever she feels like. Even her little brother is not the hugest fan since he secretly lets their dog lick her cookies. But soon when events kick into high gear she steps up the plate and shows a level of maturity most adults could learn from. Now I am not entirely sure if she is even near the age of the teen she is portraying because she does seem older. Whether she is or not her performance is impressive. Both of their performances draw you in and it is because of them you don't want to let go. It is through them that you experience the real thrills.

Retribution is one of those films the least you know about it the more you enjoy it. It might not be original but it does more than enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. And at the end it does feel like you have been taken on one hell of a ride. A must watch!


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