Review: La Mission DVD

STUDIO: Screen Media | DIRECTOR: Peter Bratt | CAST: Benjamin Bratt, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Erika Alexander, Jesse Borrego, Talisa Soto Bratt
RELEASE DATE: 8/10/2010 | PRICE: DVD $24.98, Blu-ray $29.98
BONUSES: deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes material
SPECS: R | 117 min. | Drama | widescreen | 5.1 Surround Sound | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Although somewhat predictable, La Mission is nevertheless an entertaining family drama that boasts powerful performances, particularly by Benjamin Bratt as Che, a troubled, recovering alcoholic.

At first, Che seems to have it together, working successfully as a bus driver and raising his college-bound son, Jesse (Jeremy Ray Valdez). Things fall apart in the movie, however, when Che discovers that Jesse is a homosexual, something Che finds disgusting and shameful.

In addition to his changing relationship with the son he thought he knew, Che must also adapt to the changes in his neighborhood, the Mission area of San Francisco. He confronts this gentrification when new neighbor Lena (Erika Alexander) moves in. But in spite of their different cultural backgrounds, the two slowly develop a friendship that eventually becomes something more, as Lena helps Che expand his traditional viewpoint and he introduces her to such neighborhood traditions as low-riding.

Written, directed and produced by Peter Bratt (Benjamin’s brother), La Mission provides a genuine portrayal of the struggles parents face when realizing their child isn’t the person they thought he would be, especially for a macho-type father like Che, who is often called “OG” for being an original street thug back in the day.

Way before the credits roll, you will likely have figured out how the story will unfold, but the film manages to keep you interested in the proceedings, because the characters are genuine and affecting.

 

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About Cheryl

Cheryl Cheng reviewed DVD and Blu-ray titles for Video Business magazine and has a special place in her heart for foreign and independent films.