DVD Review: Greencard Warriors

STUDIO: Screen Media | DIRECTOR: Miriam Kruishoop | CAST: Manny Perez, Angel Amaral, Vivica A. Fox, McKinley Freeman, Richard Cabral
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 8/26/2014 | PRICE: DVD $24.98
BONUSES: none
SPECS: NR | 90 min. | Drama | 1.78:1 widescreen | stereo | English and Spanish subtitles

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

 

Greencard Warriors tells the story of 14-year-old Angel (Angel Amaral) and his undocumented family. When his older brother joins the Army in order to get the family their green cards and subsequently killed in action, Angel’s world falls apart. His relationship with his girlfriend Jazmine (Paige Hurd) then begins to suffer as he becomes drawn into the violence of gang life in the barrio of East L.A.

Manny Perez in Greencard Warriors

The film opens with the statistic that in 2007 there were about 20,500 undocumented soldiers serving in the U.S. military. That’s certainly a relevant topic that hasn’t been widely addressed in film, but unfortunately it does not get its due in Greencard Warriors, which suffers from slow pacing and an overly dramatic script by writer director Miriam Kruishoop. And while the location shots are grittily realistic, it loses its potency as the story grows increasingly clichéd once it centers on the gang lifestyle.

Greencard Warriors has one shining moment in which Angel’s father Jesus (Manny Perez) confronts the army officers that recruited his son to find that they don’t remember either of them. It’s a poignant moment that many families can identify with; Jesus’s emotions are so powerful, I couldn’t help but think “You go dad! You tell ‘em!”

The scenes with Jazmine’s parents Gabrielle (Vivica A. Fox) and LB (McKinley Freeman) come across as disjointed in context with the rest of the story. The talent of  the performers is underused, which leads me to think that a number of their scenes may be on the cutting room floor.

Greencard Warriors is not a feel good movie, nor does it shine much light on the topic except to bring the statistic of undocumented soldiers to the awareness of it audience.

 

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About Jenna

Jenna Miller studied theater and is a huge film buff. She has been regaling her family with her reviews since elementary school.