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One film from the growing pool of Spanish films that has caught my attention recently is Matando Cabos 2: La Mascara De Abrasive (literal translation: The Woman Who Ascended Mount Everest). I'll admit I was not going to watch this film for some reason - but upon its release, I discovered that this movie is an absolute delight, in every sense of the word. What starts out as a heart-wrenching love story between two unlikely characters (a girl and her ex-boyfriend) quickly evolves into a rollicking action-thriller that will make you wish you were somewhere else on earth.
Matando Cabos is the third film out of the Cabos family (the other two being Soledades and Las Meninas). I don't know why the film industry keeps making these cheaply made "filler" films. They get by with no real substance, relying only on incredibly over-the-top special effects and corny dialogue to fill the space. I have a hard time believing that someone (a man, no less) who could do such a bad job directing a film could ever be considered an "expert" in the film industry. It's like they think they can slap together an action-packed blockbuster script and sell it to the highest bidder.
Matando Cabos isn't just an average soap opera, though. Instead, it is an intense, page-turner story about a girl (Bridget Fasano) who ascends to the heights of Mount Everest. We learn about her family, her love life, her aspirations, and more in an engaging, fast-paced plot that keeps the viewer interested through the end. Matando Cabos is definitely a must-see film (I highly recommend it), but there are a few things that ruin the picture for me. Without further delay, I will discuss those below.
First of all, forget the special effects. Nothing special happened during the filming of this film. No matter how much they try to make it look like a descent into the Himalayas or some other incredible locale, the only thing you're seeing are the faces of a few extras. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest drawbacks of Matando Cabos. It lacks any real substance, which is a huge problem when you're trying to sell an audience on a film that has very little content. It may not be as bad as It's For Every Man Now, but it certainly doesn't look like a movie I would pass on with any friends.
Secondly, it was boring. Sure, we got to see some interesting characters, but the film pretty much served up the same scenes over again. The climactic conflict was predictable, but the build-up to it was never developed enough for me to care about what was going to happen. As a whole, I felt it was a poorly directed film that failed to interest in anything more than cheap thrills and spectacle...which is fine, I suppose. I just don't think it was very effective.
There is one scene in particular that may be haunting you a bit, if you have seen the movie: The climactic fight scene happens after Maria (Martina Navratilova) saves her younger brother from being thrown over the balcony. The camera does not get a look at her actual hand delivering the fatal blow, but I would guess it is enough to satisfy most viewers. Anyway, the fight ends with her brother screaming in agony as he lays back on the ground, lifeless. So, is This For Me?