Carmike is presenting Che in two parts. Part one this week, part two will come next.
In major markets Steven Soderbergh’s Che was shown as a 4 1/2-hour whole with an intermission. From experience I can tell you that sitting through a film that long is painful.
Thus two parts. Che: Part One deals with the Cuban revolution. You meet Fidel Castro and his brother Raul but learn very little about them or the revolutionaries that helped them defeat the U.S. backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. What you get in both parts could have been done in two less hours.
Benicio Del Toro stars and is brilliant. Unfortunately, outside of just a few scenes that show Che Guevara's passion for truth, justice and the communist way — translation: the execution and murder of hundreds of Cubans not marching to the right tune and more — Soderberg gives you just one dimension. Che the great leader had flaws. Lots of them. They are hinted at but not shown.
Those interested in Guevara’s life, socialism vs. capitalism or in Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution may be intrigued. You actually learned more about Guevara in 2004’s The Motorcycle Diaries than you will here and you didn’t learn much in that one.
Would I see this? Definitely. Warts and all, the project is an incredible piece of work.
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars.
Rated R for violence, mature themes. It opens April 3 at the Carmike 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.