Director : Josh C Waller
Writer : Daniel Noah (novel/screenplay)
Starring : Zoe Bell, Nacho Vigalondo, Francisco Barreiro USA. 1h 43m
In the jungles of Columbia, a photojournalist (Zoe Bell) captures the truth behind a group of missionaries who may not be what they seem.
Zoe Bell, who’s more famously known for her dramatic role in Death Proof (2007), and while the trailers for this make her out to be a female Rambo there is a much more deeper, romantic back story entwined in the jungle violence, and with Bells ability to do her own stunts once the chase begins, it flows seamlessly. Here is is playing the role of Avery Taggert an independent and experienced photojournalist who’s accompany a small group through the lush Columbian forest and who is emotionally recovering from a recent tragedy, Avery begrudgingly accepts a job in Columba travelling with and photographing a religious militia force led by the charismatic and domineering Guillermo (Nacho Vigalondo), when she witnesses Guillermo kill a child during a drug deal, he frames her for the murder and instructs the group to hunt her down and kill her. This is when things get very interesting. The soundtrack immediately changes into this dark grinding heavy industrial drone, it doesn’t continue but acts like ringing a dinner bell that instead brings forwards a group of bloodthirsty militia.
It was really interesting to see Zoe act in such a different role, and she’s a strong person both physically and give a solid performance, utilizing her larger frame as an expressive tool, the sheer amount of effort that she puts in, really pays off and makes for a very impressive film, literally on par with First Blood (1982). Apart from the lack of mud smearing she is pretty much on par with Stallone or any other prized action hero.
Everything about Camino remains strangely beautiful, the scenery and cuts are sharp and emotions run high as Avery has to not only survive the chase but prove her innocence while she fights her way to a safe harbour. There are several gory scenes, some are quite painful to watch as Zoe takes quite a beating several times, but at the end of the day it’s quite a thrilling bone crunching survival horror, with Zoe;s background there is less need to resort ot shaky cam tactics to fudge in a double and the results pay off as we feel every kick and punch as she struggles off each assassin.
All of this is cleverly set against a vivid portrait of manipulation and corruption and sadly comes to an abrupt ending which I felt didn’t do the film justice but is still strong with a palpable sense of justice. At points I felt that the film was going to boil down to just a chase through the jungle but with scenes of Zoe’s late husband who invades the film from beginning to end giving her hope and courage as she picks her bloodied self off the ground and carries on to take a liar and possibly future dictator down, and this is why Camino is more than just a chase movie and what makes it stand out.
R – Escobar : Paradise Lost (2014), Rambo (1982)
L – Selected Survival movies, Woman in charge – strong female leads
A – “But that’s a man film” Bitch Pleased
5B – Zoe Bell
Vs – Camino Vs Rambo