Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Soledad Villamil, Daniel Fanego, Sofia Gala, Javier Godino
Plot: After being part of the murder of a local man, a cancer-stricken Pedro (Mortensen) flees his rural home in order to find his doctor brother, Agustin (also Mortensen), and hopefully get some help. After Agustin kills his brother (somewhat out of anger and compassion to save Pedro from dying slowly and painfully from cancer) he takes his identity and goes back to Pedro’s rural shack in hope of starting a new life and writing all his brother’s wrongs.
When an actor completely subverts their star persona the result(s) can be either eye-opening or gravely disastrous. Viggo Mortensen is not regularly associated with one genre or character type though it’s still a wonder as to how he decided to adopt the Spanish language for his latest film, Everybody Has a Plan. His part in the film is (true to form) excellent however it’s enveloped in a mediocre story that is entirely forgetful.
Chances of this film succeeding without the Lord of the Rings and History of Violence star are minimal as it offers nothing beyond the odd story of an identity swap and criminal activity. The story sounds interesting enough but it’s a banal series of events that occur in the narrative, erasing all intrigue and attention.
The cast are all adept, Mortensen especially, and attempt to flesh out their one-dimensional characters as much as they can. Mortensen can hold the film by his own but it’s nice to see others getting opportunity; sadly the only cast member allowed that within the script is Sofia Gala’s Rosa – Agustin’s love interest once he enters the marshy landscape of Tigre. The villain, Adrian (appealingly brought to life by Daniel Fanego), could lift this film out of the figurative mud but he gets very little screen time.
Perhaps with a lot more work Everybody Has a Plan could have been something great. The environment, dark, damp and dangerous is a richly textured setting that could have been explored to a degree. Odd side-plots that try and distract you from the tedious story should have been replaced with greater attention to the leading characters. The film almost becomes a warning for actors not to tread foreign waters and whilst this should not be the case it is worryingly apparent.
By Piers McCarthy. Also posted on LiveForFilms