Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Ardor’

Alice Braga

It pays homage to classic filmmaking, it’s got two fine-looking international stars, and it calls attention to the environmental crisis in the rainforest. It’s still a dumb movie. Ardor dresses up a basic revenge plot with arty style and mystical mumbo-jumbo, all played out in a South American jungle where people have apparently watched a lot of spaghetti Westerns. In their quest to exploit the land, mercenaries set fire to swaths of the forest, trying to drive out yet another local farmer. Time for a mysterious outsider to emerge, barefoot and shirtless, from the jungle. The credits name him as Kai, although I don’t remember him being referred to that way—he’s really another Man With No Name, roaming the landscape and showing up to set things right. Kai is played by Gael García Bernal, the Mexican star of Rosewater, who smolders impressively and deserves enormous credit for keeping a straight face through all this.

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