HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Puerto Ricans in Paris
HTS Overall Score:66
Movies like “Puerto Ricans in Paris” really exist in their own little “limbo” state. They aren’t great movies, but they aren’t inherently horrible either. Basically they just act as a vehicle for the low budget star power comedy and offer a few yucks along the way. Much like a Steven Seagal film you don’t go in with any real expectations, besides the expectation that you will be rolling your eyes a lot while you stuff popcorn down your throat (which I was sadly out of at the time of this review. I really shouldn’t let that happen). Ian Edelman takes the helm in his first feature film, and he does a surprisingly palatable job at both directing and writing. The script is very barebones, and doesn’t exactly scream “wow, this guy will be the next Ridley Scott!”, but it works as a reasonably humorous little comedy that really is only saved by the hijinks of Luis Guzman and Edgar Garcia.
You really have to throw logic out the window here, as every old man movie cliché in the book is thrown into the blender and turned on frappe. Two aging Puerta Rican cops, Luis and Eddie (played by Luis Guzman and Edgar Garcia), are living up life in New York City as they bust knock off purse dealers, and other wonderfully engaging scumbags. Well, their life of boredom comes to an end when Colette (Alice Taglioni), a renowned fashion mogul from France, comes to America and hires to the cops to come and retrieve a stolen handbag from her unreleased lineup for the next year. Being that French cops are kind of slow (her own words), Colette wants to hire a pair of the best cops in the business, and these overweight and aging fools MUST be the best there is, right? Especially when the missing bag is worth millions in profits to Colette’s company. Being that Luis is looking to get rich, and Eddie can certainly use the money to help treat his neglected wife right, the two hop on a plane and start to track down whoever stole the handbag.
As you can guess, things don’t exactly go as planned. Colette gives them a list of possible suspects and soon that list gets shorter and shorter as the goofball cops slowly eliminate the suspects one by one. Ironically, there’s plenty of fun and hijinks happening to keep them entertained. Except in this side of the world EDDIE is no longer the frumpy husband but the king about town, while Luis pouts around the city as every beautiful woman he hits on gives him the cold shoulder. With time running out the duo HAS to stop messing around long enough to figure out who the real thief is and get a few hundred G’s in the process.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=75793[/img]Even though it is called “Puerto Ricans In Paris” there really isn’t a whole lot of time spent on the race of the two cops. In fact it could have been ANYBODY in Paris in reality. It seems that it was just used as a title catch phrase due to the ethnicity of the main two stars. Most of the humor is really flat and bland, with a fairly weak script that doesn’t stretch the skills of the actors or the director very much. Most of the situational humor is a mildly entertaining and there are some funny parts, but really, most of the humor comes from Luis Guzman and Edgar Garcia playing off of each other and their back and forth banter. When you introduce another character (like Colette) the humor drops off dramatically, but when the two cops are just joshing each other and talking smack, that is where most of the chuckles come from.
The plot itself is really rather generic and by the numbers. It acts as a vehicle for the more humor laden parts and is neither intelligent nor witty. Personally I don’t think any of the plot points were compelling enough to actually remember unless I wrote them down in my notebook while viewing. The stars did a solid job at keeping me semi-engaged, with Guzman usually stealing the show as he always does (his most memorable roles in the film was him trying to interrogate suspects and dressing up as a Saudi prince or a Texas coffee dealer).
Rated R for language including some sexual references
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=75801[/img]“Puerto Ricans In Paris” sports a very nice looking digital encode that doesn’t look overly fantastic, but still more than capable of giving a pleasing experience. The digital cinematography features a very detail rich environment with intimate details and long shots looking equally impressive. You can see the stitching and clothe textures on the French fashion wear that the boys wear, as well as pores and wrinkles in the faces of our aging superstar cops. The film is graded pretty heavily, with the director of photography using a yellow or blue/gray filter depending on the scene (and they can switch use at will for some reason). Black levels are rock solid and I only noticed a flicker of banding here and there. Otherwise a very impressive looking 1080p encode.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=75809[/img]The Mono DTS-HD MA track is just about as good as the video, and while it is not wildly active surround mix, it does the job quite nicely. Dialog is strong and clear, but there is a sort of boxy sound to the mix that feels constrained on modern systems. The front sound stage is fairly limited as well, with the dialog centric film making it a VERY center loaded track. There’s a few mild sound effects that shift some directionality in the front, but most of the time it’s a very simple and precise sound design. There’s a little baked in LFE and some ambient noises that come through, but once again, this is a mono track and very simple in its layout. I didn’t notice any hisses or crackling in the old mix and I have to say that it sounds quite good for its age.
“Puerto Ricans in Paris” is a fairly forgettable (although not horrible) movie that feels like it was taken from the comedy playbook and replicated frame by frame, but by directors and writers who didn’t understand emotion and timing. Everything felt ok, and everything played out exactly as one would expect, but the formulaic approach left the film bereft of humor and rather forgettable at the end of the day. The cinematography was acceptable and the acting decent enough, it was just that nothing seemed to stand out and really pull you in. Audio and video were more than acceptable for a comedy but there were no real extras to speak of (although I’m not sure the film really warranted any) thus I have to recommend that this one just be skipped or rented depending on your mood.
Starring: Luis Guzman, Edgar Garcia, Alice Taglioni
Directed by: Ian Edelman
Written by: Ian Edelman, Neel Shah
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DTS 5.1
Runtime: 82 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: August 2nd 2016
Buy Puerto Ricans In Paris On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Low Rental at Best
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