Frontera (2014)

A friend and colleague of mine recommended I check this movie out.  It was released in 2014 and I think I remember some of the trailers for the movie.  So I gave it a shot tonight on Hulu.

It was okay.  Well acted with a solid cast.  I have always enjoyed Ed Harris and Micheal Pena. Eva Longoria might have stolen the show with her performance.

I wonder if Donald Trump had seen this movie and formed his border policies on what he saw here.  I couldn’t help but think of him as I watched some of the plot points that happened in the movie.

So Miguel (Michael Pena) is illegally crossing the border from Mexico to the United States with a family friend (Michael Ray Escamilla) when they meet Olivia (Amy Madigan) on a horse.  She gave them water and pointed them in the direction of possible work.  Her husband, a former sheriff Roy (Ed Harris) likes to do things his own way, she said, explaining why she had no work for them.  Little did they know that three teens were taking up position to shoot at the illegal Mexicans crossing the land.

The boys did not intend for anyone to get hurt.  They just wanted to scare the Mexicans, as they said. Problem was that Olivia heard the shots and, when she went to check on them, her horse was spooked and threw her.  She hit her head on some rocks and would die.

Roy also heard the shots and came rushing to the site, just in time to see Miguel standing over Olivia, his wife, with the bridal of the horse in his hand.  He assumed that Miguel had hurt Olivia trying to steal her horse.

Miguel retreats and Roy nearly shoots him, but he pauses, allowing Miguel to escape.  Taking his wife in his arms, Roy holds Olivia as she dies.

As I said, there was solid acting in the film, especially from Harris, who was solid as the grieving husband who still wants justice to be done, and from Eva Longoria, the wife of Miguel who faces dangers of her own as she tried to get to America herself to see her arrested husband.

I did have some problems with the movie, though.  First, it felt like everything really fixed itself quickly.  Terrible things happen to these characters, but then a scene or two later the situation resolved itself, setting up the next one.  It just seemed as if the movie wanted to show everything that could happen to or because of illegal aliens, but just did not have enough time to go into specifics in any plot.  Because of that, we did not have the chance to really get involved in enough of the story.  It was as if it was on fast forward most of the time.

I seriously wonder if Trump saw this movie prior to his infamous “They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people” comments.  SPOILERS: the film even ends with Miguel putting up a fence on the border.  Build a wall????  I wouldn’t be surprised.

I try to remain non-political here, but that was going through my head so much that it affected how I saw the film.

In the end, this is a well acted film that does not spend enough time on any one storyline to truly be effective.  Ed Harris, Michael Pena and Eva Longoria are good here, and this is not a bad movie to watch on a lazy night with nothing else to do.  It was okay.



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