Synopsis: In the jungles of Colombia, a photojournalist captures the truth behind a group of missionaries who may not be what they seem.
Release Date: March 4, 2016 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Action, Adventure
After getting her start in the industry as Lucy Lawless’ stunt double on “Xena: Warrior Princess,” Zoë Bell was finally given her big acting break by Quentin Tarantino – playing herself, a stuntwoman, in 2007’s Death Proof. Since then, she has slowly-but-surely made the transition from stunt performer to action star, with high-energy roles in the roller derby comedy Whip It and QT’s epic western The Hateful Eight. It appears as if her transformation is complete with her new action/adventure movie Camino.
Camino stars Bell as an award-winning photojournalist named Avery Taggert who is sent into the jungles of Colombia to follow around and photograph a charismatic revolutionary leader named Guillermo (Nacho Vigalondo, better known for his directorial work on V/H/S Viral and Extraterrestrial) and his group of “missionaries.” Guillermo and his band of merry men trek through the jungles and distribute food and medicine to the poor villagers who reside there. When Avery sees Guillermo trafficking drugs on one of their stops, she does exactly what she was sent there to do – she photographs it. She also happens to catch a shot of Guillermo killing a young boy. Incriminating film in hand, she flees into the jungles to escape, giving Guillermo a chance to blame the child’s murder on her. Avery has to make her way through the jungle and get to help before Guillermo and his troops can catch her.
Camino is the second collaboration between Zoë Bell and director Josh C. Waller; the pair also teamed up in 2013 for the female gladiator movie Raze. The screenplay for Camino was written by Daniel Noah (Max Rose) from a story idea that he and Waller cooked up that is equal parts survival movie and action flick – think of it as Deliverance meets The Raid: Redemption. What’s fascinating about Camino is not so much the fighting that Avery does with Guillermo and his people, but the fighting she does with herself. The character is haunted by the ghosts of her past (and her dead husband, played by A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night‘s Dominic Rains), and those hauntings follow her just as far into the jungles as the revolutionaries from which she is running do. But she can’t just beat the hell out of the demons in her head. Avery is a pretty complicated character, and that makes Camino a pretty complex film. Complex, at least, for a movie that’s mostly fighting.
There are political and social messages in Camino, but they don’t get in the way of all of the fun. Guillermo may wax philosophical at times (at one point he compares Avery’s camera to a gun, saying everything depends on “what we point it at”), but like all good action movies, Camino is all about entertainment value. And it’s got plenty of it.
The soundtrack for Camino was composed by Kreng, which is the pseudonym of Belgian musician Pepijn Caudron (who also scored Cooties). The music is full of dark and brooding electronic synthesizer and sample-based vamps that rely so heavily on noise effects that it almost borders on sound design. The score is not completely experimental – parts of it reflect modern classical music or even a bit of avant-garde jazz – but the atmospheric noise parts are what really make the music so interesting and refreshing. Kreng’s soundtrack for Camino is unlike anything you’ve probably ever heard in a movie score.
As mentioned earlier, Zoë Bell is an action star. Period. She’s not a Bruce Lee-type of martial artist or anything like that, but she’s a tough brawler, and her fight scenes are well choreographed and shot in a way that is both inventive and entertaining. For example, one of her initial fights ends with her using her legs to strangle an attacker with her camera strap – let’s see Jackie Chan pull that off! Actually, Jackie Chan probably could pull that off, but nevertheless – the struggle is not just a punch-kick-fall down kind of a bout. Bell’s athletic agility and precise coordination make the action scenes in Camino a lot of fun to watch, and isn’t that the whole point of action movies in the first place?
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Josh C. Waller
- Producer(s): Ehud BleibergDaniel NoahJosh C. Waller
- Screenwriter(s): Daniel NoahJosh C. Waller
- Cast: Zoë Bell (Avery)Nacho Vigalondo (Guillermo)Dominic Rains (Daniel) Francisco Barreiro (Tomas)Sheila Vand (Marianna)Tenoch Huerta (Alejo)Nancy Gomez (Luna)Jason Canela (Sebastian)Kevin Pollak (Donald)
- Editor(s): Brett W. Bachman
- Cinematographer: Noah Greenberg
- Production Designer(s): Jess T. Johnson
- Costume Designer: Carly Molnaire
- Casting Director(s): Akemi Bischoff
- Music Score: Pepijn Caudron (as Kreng)
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA