The adversity one can face heading to a new country is insurmountable. As one group finds out in Desierto, it too can be deadly.
Moises (Gael Garcia Bernal), looking to fulfill a promise to his son back in the United States accompanies a group of immigrants also looking to flee across the border. When they encounter Sam (Jeffery Dean Morgan), a racist vigilante and his dog Tracker, the group falls into grave danger. One by one the immigrants are hunted down attempting to flee to sanctuary.
The character development in the film leaves quite a bit to hope for. Moises, Sam and Adela (Alondra Hidalgo) are the most featured characters, but their driving motives aren’t touched but with a few lines of dialog each. Moises’s character features the most in depth While there is plenty of action and drama, the storyline is quite cut and dry and mainly predictable.
The special effects of the film are well done in the areas they take place. While there isn’t much CGI, the brutality that Sam reigns down on the immigrants is quite picturesque of what one might expect of a vigilante hunting immigrants.
Opening on a pan shot of a barren desert plain, the photographers perfectly capture the aura of the placement of the film. Stunning landscapes and angles of which this film were recorded are absolutely breathtaking. Showing off beautiful shots of Baja California and Mexico, the photographers captured the elegance of the desert in their shots.
The cinematography really saved this movie. While Bernal’s acting is spectacular, the lack of depth to the story and minimal character development ultimately hinders this movie from being a great one. It is worth a rent, but not much more than that.