After the mayor of a tiny hamlet is decapitated by an irate populace, the Powers That Be(mindful of an upcoming election) decide to appoint a total moron as temporary mayor. Thetheory is that an idiot won’t get himself into trouble. The idiot they find is Juan Vargas (DamiánAlcázar), who arrives with his wife and a head filled with plans to do good things for thecommunity. We all know what is paved with good intentions, though, and confronted with acomplete lack of funds, o…r hero very quickly descends into graft, extortion and murder,becoming even more sadistically corrupt than his predecessor.
At just over two hours, Herod’s Law is a bit on the long side. We get where it’s goingquite early, and the film takes a bit too much time to catch up with where the audience already is.At the same time, the cheerful black humour (and it is very, very black indeed) is infectious. Thefilm isn’t groundbreaking, but its cynicism is bracing. A basic familiarity with Mexican politics ishelpful here.
The 5.1 track is disappointingly harsh. The distortion on the dialogue is constant and verydistracting, with loud buzz and jarring sibilance. There are essentially no surround effects(barring one or two over-enthusiastic moments), except for the music, and it is sometimes tooloud from the rear speakers.
The colours are the warm brown of nostalgia, and are nicely rendered in this 1.85:1anamorphic widescreen transfer. The grain as very minor, as is the edge enhancement. Thecontrasts and blacks are good. Unfortunately, this is another disc plagued by a tendency to pulsein an out of focus. Though this flaw isn’t as bad as on many other discs, it is still distracting, andhappends often enough to be irritating.
Nothing here except the trailer for Lucia, Lucia and an ad for the Cinema Latinocollection as a whole.
An engaging black comedy that, while not blazingly original, plays out in very satisfyingfashion. Audio and video could do with some work, however.
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