Cartel 2045 is a low budget movie from first-time writer and director Chris Le and stars Danny Trejo (he off-of the taco adverts in the UK).
Things begin with Chris, Alexander P. Heartman (Take A Chance, Power Rangers Samurai (TV)), as he is released from prison by a projection of a head of a man who is some kind of boss of some army division.
Chris is released because he has a chip embedded in his head which was originally intended to allow him to control mechanised fighting machines which have since been banned by all countries.
Since being banned, the company that made them has gone bankrupt and therefore it decided to sell its stock to the highest bidder. This, it turns out, was the Mexican drug cartels, who also kidnap the original designer of the robots in an attempt to get him to make more.
The US Army want this man back and see Chris as the only way that can happen. They send him, and about four other soldiers, into Juarez to tackle the entire Cartel, headed by Danny Trejo (Machete, Storks).
Obviously, it’s not as straight forward as that as someone has tipped off the Cartel about Chris and his chip-ability and want him alive, well they want the chip.
Whilst Cartel 2045 is a great idea in theory, the execution is less well realised. These mechanised warriors that were supposedly built for the armed forces are carrying AK47 style weapons and seem incapable of hitting anything even remotely close to them. Their bullets also seem incapable of punching through anything; metal, chairs, tables.
It doesn’t help that people stand around waiting to be shot, most of them obviously have no idea how to hold a weapon, all the fire-power is in the form of muzzle flashes and blood splatter added in post and the robots are easily disabled in the end.
If you want to know what the gun-battles are like, think Naked Gun when they’re shooting at each other from a couple of meters away and hit nothing.
The CGI ranges from; ‘hey, that’s not actually that bad’ to ‘oh god that’s bad’. The acting meanwhile, lies towards the latter spectrum.
The directing isn’t terrible, in fact there are some quite nice touches but, much like the CGI and acting, there are also some pretty terrible ones too, overall though, this is definitely one of the positives.
Le, for reasons unknown, has decided to go back over the entire movie and add scratches and lines over the top. This, we assume, is an attempt to make it look more grindhouse, think Machete etc. However, it’s quite subtle and, where Tarantino and Rodriguez make it a feature, here it is at odds with the ‘shiny-ness’ of the rest of the movie.
Whilst a good idea, Cartel 2045 needed much more money to make it a watchable reality.
Cartel 2045 (Juarez 2045) Trailer: