- Summary: Wayne Montgomery is a young, naive California surfer living happy in Lima Peru in 1980. Suddenly he is framed on drug charges and thrown into Lima’s infamous El Sexto prison. Corrupt police officials move to extort money from Wayne’s family, but Wayne won’t cooperate. In prison, Wayne meets a series of eccentric and dangerous characters that compel him to grow up in a hurry and find a way to escape. Based on a true story and shot in gritty, realistic style, “186 Dollars to Freedom” has brought audiences to standing ovations at film festivals throughout the United States and Peru. (Four Fish Films)… Collapse
- Director: Camilo Vila
- Genre(s): Action, Drama
- More Details and Credits »
Sep 30, 2012Setting his fact-based tale on the eve of democratic elections in 1980 Peru, Vila tends to err on the side of melodrama whenever possible, and John Robinson's lead performance offers no end of privileged American naivete. But the characters are solid and the action sound.
Unable to shape these events into a dramatic structure, the director, Camilo Vila, resorts to a meandering tale of random indignities suffered by a lead so bland he comes across less as principled than as stupendously naïve.
The trouble is that it's hard to care about poor Wayne when he seems so empty-headed and naïve - civic unrest in Peru on the eve of its first democratic elections in 1980 is the setting - and when the movie itself seems so unfocused.
On every level this production - from Robinson's callow performance to Vila's hackneyed handheld camerawork, punching beats in the stead of the actors - remains firmly on the level of the obvious.