Transpecos is a complex short-story about 3 border guards (Clifton Collins Jr., Gabriel Luna, Johnny Simmons) whose day goes horribly wrong when a regular inspection ends deadly on a remote highway. This movie is a tense drama where we see these 3 men turn on each other as they try to cover up the days events. With a runtime just under 1.5 hours, you know this movie isn’t going to be that involved, but with well developed characters, solid acting and tense situations, this movie does a good job at grabbing you and not holding on for too long.
When I saw Clifton Collins Jr. in this, I immediately said that he is the bad guy because let’s face it, he always is, but surprisingly he is the solid one in this movie that stays true to his character. Obviously, this movie is all about the characters. I was hoping as the movie unfolded that it would present us with some memorable events or plot twists, but nothing really came. I recently watched Hell or High Water and the characters and setting reminded me of that movie, but the difference here is Hell or High Water had action scenes that you could talk about and call memorable and Transpecos seemed to just cruise after the first 20 minutes.
My overall impression with this short, yet effective movie, is that is peaks with set-up and then coasts. Sure it has some tense moments after the beginning but it seemed to turn from an action thriller into a psychological drama and that for me wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted something more, and the lackluster ending didn’t help. At least the ending for Hell or High Water left you wanting more! At the end of the day, the performances, the characters and the situation are going to be enough for many to rate this highly, but I felt this movie will be forgettable and left me disappointed with such a great opening. I still thing it was quality, but just hoped it would get more interesting.
6/10 Stars – Well developed characters, solid acting and realistic settings couldn’t keep me from being disappointed as the movie coasted to a lackluster ending.