Posts Tagged ‘drug cartels’

From Scarface to The Last Stand: Taking stock of drug movies By Richard Crouse Metro Canada In Focus Wednesday January 16, 2013

last-stand-trailerThis weekend Arnold Schwarzenegger takes on first lead role in ten years. In the Last Stand he’s Sheriff Ray Owens, a rootin’, tooin’ small town lawman who battles a Mexican drug cartel.

It’s the first time Arnold has fought drug lords, but Hollywood often looks to the cartels for a supply of bad guys.

As recently as last year Oliver Stone cast Salma Hayek as the ruthless cartel leader in Savages, aided and abetted by Benicio Del Toro as her henchman.

There are also rumors that Scarface, the legendarily violent Al Pacino movie about a Cuban immigrant who takes over the south Florida drug trade, is about to be remade and relocated to the world of Mexican drug cartels.

In Traffic, the Oscar winning Steven Soderbergh movie, Clifton Collins Jr. plays the colorfully named hit man for the Tijuana Obregón Drug Cartel, Frankie Flowers. He meets an unpleasant end, but while he is alive his preferred weapon is a bomb.  Why? “I don’t really like guns. You shoot someone in the head three times and some pinche doctor will keep them alive.”

The Johnny Depp movie Blow was actually renamed Cartel in some markets. Based on the book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellín Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All, Depp plays George Jung, the man who launched the American cocaine market in the 1970s.

Jung forged his link to the Columbian Medellín cartel while in jail. “I went in with a Bachelor of marijuana,” he says, “and came out with a Doctorate of cocaine.” His business with them made him a millionaire—he weighed the money rather than take the time to count it—but also proved his undoing.

Jung never got even with the cartel but El Mariachi, Antonio Banderas’s guitar playing gunslinger in Desperado is determined to get even with the drug lord who killed his wife. In a twist—and this is a spoiler if you haven’t seen the film—the drug baron is actually El Mariachi’s older brother, Bucho.

Finally, Colombiana is another cartel revenge flick. Zoe Saldana is Cataleya Restrepo, who as a ten-year old saw her parents killed by a Bogota drug lord. Instead of calling the police she instead becomes an assassin who vows to avenge her family’s deaths. Her journey starts with ten words: “I want to be a killer. Can you help me?”