It is always nice to see actors who have been in the movie industry for many years. Actors who have proved themselves from an acting perspective, delivering unforgettable films. And one of the actors i am thinking about right now is Spanish actor Antonio Banderas. Since the early days of his career, starting off in Spanish classics such as Pedro Almodóvar´s Matador, he clearly had a screen presence for all ages. No matter what character he did, he could charm us on the big screen. When he started making his way into Hollywood, with the 1993 film Philadelphia, he kept getting more offers to do bigger productions. And it was especially one film that changed his acting career forever, with the 1995 film Desperado. I still consider this to be one of the best action classics of the 90´s, and director Robert Rodriguez really hit jackpot with this film. Antonio Banderas as El Mariachi, the guitar playing hitman, was a perfect choice for this character. Antonio knew exactly how to portrait such a personality. This film is actually a sequel to the 1992 film El Mariachi, a cult classic ( also directed by Robert Rodriguez ). Antonio Banderas kept on working hard, being in many different films, and many different characters. One of the films i think we need to mention, is The Mask Of Zorro. When this film came out in 1998, i had no expectations at all. It turned out to be pretty good, maybe because the combination of Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins was a really good match. Also, i think director Martin Campbell found the right balance for a Zorro movie, with nice sword fighting scenes, and actually funny dialogue as well. The sequel was ok, but not as good as the first film. Since Hollywood have changed over the years, you don´t really see Antonio doing many big budget films anymore. But that´s ok, he still knows how to deliver on screen, and i really enjoyed his performance in The Expendables 3. His crazy character Galgo was a great way to bring some comedy into the Expendables franchise. About a week ago, i got a chance to see one of Antonio Banderas latest films on VOD, called Black Butterfly. Not knowing almost anything about the film, i decided to give the film a chance. Is this a surprisingly good thriller with a legendary actor, or is it a predictable and dull film from start to finish ?
Paul ( Antonio Banderas ) is an author, who is struggling to write a new book. He is out of money and need to sell his house, located outside a mountain town. After a tense encounter with a drifter named Jack ( Jonathan Ryhs Meyers ) at the local diner, Paul picks up Jack on the highway. Jack seems to have no destination at this point, so Paul offer him to go with him home for a shower, and to get some sleep. Jack accept his offer. Jack offer to help Paul finish some work around the house. Since the writing is going very slow, Paul need to find some inspiration to write his best work so far. At first it seems alright, where Jack want to help Paul finding a really good story. But things are about to take a different turn, when Paul realise that Jack is not who he seems to be.
It is always interesting to see a film, taking place in a small community, out in the countryside. This is a great chance to introduce realistic characters, and also use the beautiful landscape. Black Butterfly does start off pretty quiet, but when Antonios character Paul, picks up hitchhiker Jack, things become more interesting. And for a while, the tension begins to grow between the alcoholic writer, and the stranger. I do like some of the scenes between these men, when you feel that they obviously have issues between each other. But then something happens with the film. About an hour into the film, what could have been exciting and thrilling, is made way too easy. The story becomes very cliche, where you can predict pretty much everything, at least the ending go on a different path. It is such a shame that no real effort is made to make a really unexpected turn, because there is a good idea behind the film Black Butterflies. Antonio Banderas is without a doubt the strongest actor in this film. His screen time saves this film from falling flat to the ground. Director Brian Goodman, is mostly known as an actor in films such as Blow with Johnny Depp, and The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift. He did direct his debut feature film What Doesn´t Kill You, with Ethan Hawk and Mark Ruffalo. This film is actually a good criminal drama, with some great performances. Black Butterflies is his second feature film to direct, and this time it seems that he is lost in a maze. If he only could have developed the psychological tension between the main characters, instead of making the plot too easy. Black Butterfly does have potential, but loose too much power after a while. I read that there is an upcoming Antonio Banderas film called Versace, where Antonio Banderas plays the legendary Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace, who was murdered in 1997. The film will be directed by legendary director Billie August. This does sound very interesting. Black Butterfly is nothing you will remember, or care about. Wait for Versace comes out, and we actually might have something delightful.