Whether you are a fan or not of Alex de la Iglesia there is no denying the unique, somewhat bizarre quality all of his films have in common. 800 Bullets is no different, the story of Carlos, a young boy, who has always wondered about his late father's life. His mother gives him no details, essentially sheltering the young boy from the truth. This prompts Carlos to find his grandfather, Julian, who he has never met in an effort to learn about his father's past. Julian is a former stuntman who once made a living in American Westerns shot in Spain but now he has been reduced to doing stunt shows for miniscule audiences on a decaying set built many years ago for western films. When Carlos's mother, Laura, blames Julian for her husbands death and when she learns that Carlos and Julian have met, she is determined to destroy what little is left of Julian's once proud career. 800 bullets is certainly strange and bawdy by traditional standards but I must admit I was a bit disappointed in how by-the-numbers it was for one of Alex de la Iglesia's films. It's a sentimental comedy about a young boy and an old man reuniting and while it achieves the desirable effect, I was left wishing for more. What works best in Iglesia's film is the celebration of dreams, with Julian's character being a man whose lost almost everything since his glory days, yet he still performs daily in an effort to keep his dream alive. 800 Bullets is not a bad film by any means, being Alex de la Iglesia's ode to filmmaking, and while I did appreciate a lot of the more eccentric moments, the sentimental through-line of the film left me wanting more.
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