Perdita Durango (Rosie Perez) is an unscrupulous young woman whose tough childhood has made her self confident and self sufficient. Love is not a word in her vocab, which is not to say sex isn’t. When Perdita hooks up with the abominable rogue, Romeo Dolorosa (Javier Bardem), it’s like creating a human molotov cocktail. They kidnap a well brought up young couple and begin a hell-raising ride, transporting a cargo of foetuses from the Mexican border to Las Vegas for a Mafia boss. On the way, they beat and seduce their captives, meet double agents, cops, obsessives, murderers, drug runners and others. Romeo’s membership of a black magic club offers them a chance to explore the darkest side of human nature, and despite the unlikely, life threatening journey, Perdita learns how to fall in love. She has met her match.

A psychotic criminal couple kidnaps a random teenage couple.

Alex de la Iglesia specialises in sometimes outrageous action movies – Mutant Action and The Day Of The Beast are his previous films. With Perdita Durango, his most ambitious movie to date, he stars American actress Rosie Perez in the title role, a drifter who meets up with her Romeo – that's his name – played by Javier Bardem, on the border between the United States and Mexico. Romeo's into witchcraft and blood sacrifices; Perdita, game for anything, suggests they kidnap a couple of blonde teenagers, Duane, Harley Cross, and Estelle, Aimee Graham.

vastly overlong and rather self-important

Perdita Durango is based on a book by Barry Gifford, who also wrote the novel on which David Lynch's Wild At Heart was based – in fact, in Lynch's film Isabella Rossellini played Perdita Durango. Like Wild At Heart, this is pretty full frontal entertainment, and many will be turned off by the scenes of rape, the graphic bloodletting and other forms of mayhem and destruction in this R-rated film.

De La Iglesia is an accomplished filmmaker, no doubt about that, and he stages action scenes with an invigorating boldness. But Perdita Durango, which is vastly overlong and rather self-important, doesn't begin to compare with his earlier movies. Part of the trouble is the casting of the two leads; Rosie Perez somehow makes Perdita a thoroughly unlikeable character, while it's only possible to comprehend about half of what Javier Bardem says. An ugly turnoff, and a major disappointment.

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2 hours 5 min