Welcome to Acapulco is a new action-comedy film from director Guillermo Iván and starring an ensemble cast including William Baldwin and Michael Madsen. The film follows a video game designer who, on his way to New Mexico, gets a little too drunk and ends up in Acapulco instead, with many different people chasing him in pursuit of a mysterious package of which he has no knowledge.
This film’s storyline is far too convoluted for how simple the plot is. Basically, the hero has something that the bad guys want and has to try to stay alive and keep it away from them. There is no reason for a complex in-world mythology to weigh down the story. The film wants to be a combination of Scott Pilgrim and the Bourne movies, but is unable to achieve either of those things.
The filmmaker wither took an ambitious swing and a miss with his style or just threw a whole bunch of things together and hoped they work. (They didn’t.) The film is just so ridiculously high-energy that it is overwhelming from the get go. There’s unnecessary breaking of the fourth wall, an annoyingly sarcastic voice-over narration, excessive use of freeze-frames, and random insert shots throughout. There is simply too much going on in the film.
The characterization in the film is also weak. All of the characters are frustratingly flat and dull. Some are just flat-out annoying. Even the protagonist, who should be a likable action hero that comes from nothing to prove his strength, is thoroughly frustrating. He is not a very interesting character at all. The supporting characters are all super archetypal and underdeveloped, especially the femme fatale, Adriana.
The film’s attempts at humor are absolutely terrible. The only thing that could have made the script more unfunny would have been if a laugh track were placed over every line the filmmakers thought was funny. A big part of the issue regarding the humor is that the gags are so prolonged and overused. It seems like the film was reusing the same jokes ad nauseum.
The actors in the film fall into one of two categories: unmotivated or over-the-top. The unmotivated actors are the bigger names, like William Baldwin and Michael Madsen, that very much seem like they are doing this film just for the paycheck. Many of the rest of the actors go overboard, and admittedly, it is somewhat fun to watch them struggling. For example, Michael Kingsbaker, a former stuntman, is totally unbelievable as the protagonist, but the fact that the actor is a fish out of water does help the story a bit.
That being said, the film does have some strength in its action sequences. The choreography is somewhat generic and the execution is flawed, but they are energetic and fun enough to keep your interest in the film. These fun moments keep the film from totally derailing, instead letting it just skirt along the edge of the tracks.
Overall, Welcome to Acapulco wasn’t a particularly good film. It’s not unwatchable, but its high levels of energy with a largely uninteresting script are headache-inducing at times.
Welcome to Acapulco is available on demand beginning March 12.