In what is a salute to ‘70s exploitation action films comes a black comedy thriller that’s 50 percent James Bond, 30 percent Jason Bourne, and 20 percent every other spy film from the past decade. The film is Mandrill, a story about Chile’s smooth talking top assassin for hire who knows his way around guns and kung fu. Cue the cheesey funky score the movie has plenty of.
Mandrill is surprisingly the perfect action comedy to excite both ladies and gents. While tackling one of his many missions, the bounty hunter (Marko Zaror) receives word that there’s a contract out on Cyclops, a ruthless drug lord. Mandrill believes this is the same man who murdered his parents, leading to an adventure filled with dramatic fight scenes and shootouts. However, when he falls in love with the drug lord’s daughter (Celine Reymond), he must decide whether to make his new girl an orphan or forgo the vengeance he’s been waiting for his entire life. No doubt, the ending will certainly shock audiences.
As a film, Mandrill has plenty of humor that’s hard to resist. The magic of director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza's creation can be seen in the flashback scenes featuring the younger hit man (Augusto Schuster) and his Casanova Tio Chone (Alejandro Castillo). It’s interesting to see how viewers are introduced to Mandrill’s back story little by little, especially when discovering how watching John Colt, a character straight out of any corny low budget action flick from the ‘70s, inspired Mandrill to be a dangerous antihero. Shot in a film noir style, the hard bright lights of the casino interiors give Mandrill a classic touch. And while Mandrill is obviously an ode to all things macho, the film doesn’t hesitate to reveal the super killer’s sensitive side.
This non-pretentious film never takes itself seriously, and in fact it’s purposely silly, dutifully throwing out pickup lines that work in the movie world but would get you nowhere fast in reality. While Mandrill manages to dodge bullets while keeping his suit clean, he always does it in a tongue-in-cheek way. Mandrill is a sleek action-packed movie that dares viewers to embark on an adventure they’ll never forget.