Emperor Code (Jorge Coira, 2022)
The thriller with Luis Tosar it seems to have prevailed within the Spanish film industry as a safe value in order to bring the public to the box office. On this occasion, the Galician actor plays a CNI agent who is trying to find dirty laundry from a politician who prevents a terrorist group from getting hold of powerful explosives. Between mission and mission he will meet Wendy, a Filipina cleaner who will make him rethink her moral codes. Emperor Code intends to enunciate a kind of proletarian reverse to what was raised The kingdom by Rodrigo Sorogoyen. Here we see the intermediate echelon of the sewers of power, near the top of the pyramid but always with the risk of being sacrificed.
Neither the script by Jorge Guerricaechevarría nor the production by Jorge Coira manage to elevate Emperor Code beyond its functionality as a purely commercial entertainment film. Its three parallel plots do not flow, and the staging of Coira does not go beyond what is merely television, where everything is seen correctly but in a totally impersonal way. How could it be less, Luis Tosar is as professional as usual, but we must recognize that this is a record in which we have already seen in other similar productions. Only Miguel Rellán, honored at the festival, seems to enjoy his character as a nice bad guy, in a film that will surely attract the public on its opening weekend.
The test (Dani of the Order, 2022)
“What would you choose, one hundred thousand euros now or one million in ten years?” This question is the start of The test, the new film by Dani de la Orden. Toni, played by the always amusing Alberto San Juan, will put this question on the table for the couple made up of the characters of Miren Ibarguren and Carlos Santos, very comfortable in their roles.
The fact that The test comes from a play written by Jordi Vallejo, also the author of the script, weighs too heavily on a film that gives scope to the actors but scrambles too much on its premise, feeling the need to introduce dramatic turns in the story that feel forced. It also doesn’t help that Dani’s execution of the Order is shown to be excessively bland, limiting itself to a succession of wide shots and shot/reverse shot with little imagination. In short, a film that serves to position each one at the exit by affirming what one would have done in his place, always knowing that there will not be a Tonio who will put a check on the table for us.
the world is yours (Alfonso Sanchez, 2022)
10 years ago, Alfonso Sánchez presented in the ZonaZine section a small film called The world is Ours. Released in the midst of the Great Recession, the Sevillian film was a mosaic of losers capable of anything to get out of their ruin. The film found a loyal audience that even today repeats viewings thanks to the platform phenomenon, which did not exist in 2012. After a second part that changed the focus to focus on Rafa and Fali, two cheeky infiltrators in Seville’s high society, the world is yours recover these characters in an ideal environment: a hunt where everything will end like the rosary of the Aurora.
With both eyes fixed on Berlanga’s cinema, Alfonso Sánchez recovers the Valencian’s taste for sequence shots and ensembles: an ambitious eight-minute shot introduces us to a world of privileged and scoundrels who enter and leave with the mastery of a director who may have lost freshness but has gained solidity behind the camera. What follows is a succession of stomps on our Hispanic corns, to the left and right, which show that a social and political cinema is possible in our tambourine country, always with a sense of humor because, as Sánchez told us at its premiere: “ if we don’t laugh, we kill each other”.