Santos- Comic Book Comedy (Movie Review)

Santos movie poster

Santos movie poster

Santos is a Spanish and Chilean comedy wrapped in a superhero movie.  Writer/director, Nicolás López, has created a film that satirizes the comic book based genre while simultaneously drawing you into a world that is oddly believable.

In the not-so-distant future, Salvador Santos (Javier Gutiérrez) is about as unlikely a candidate for saving the world as anyone could be.  Nine years earlier his obsession with becoming a successful comic book writer combined with a freak accident caused Salvador to lose everything.  Not only was his warehouse destroyed just days before the release of his first graphic novel, but his childhood sweetheart, Laura Luna (Elsa Pataky), tired of being second to Salvador’s dreams, had left him for his best friend and multimillionaire, Arturo Antares (Leonardo Sbaraglia).  Now, just days before his 33rd birthday, Salvador is a fat, balding man waiting tables dressed as his favorite superhero.  But life is beginning to look up for Salvador.  His old friend Arturo is ready to invest once again in Salvador’s comics and it even seems that the lovely Laura Luna might still have feelings for him.  Unfortunately the reality of his dreams goes even deeper than he ever imagined. Oh, and by the way, it’s also three days before the end of the world.

One fateful night Salvador encounters Anthropomosco (Guillermo Toledo), a character straight out of Salvador’s own comic.  As it turns out, the comic book is simply his subconscious interpretation of the Doubleverse, an alternate universe where superheroes, called Santos, live under the tyranny of the evil hybrid, Nova, who is hell bent on becoming a full Santos by absorbing the powers of other Santos.  An unfortunate side effect of this is that Nova will also destroy the Doubleverse and the Universe if he attempts to return to his own reality.  Salvador discovers that he too is a Santos who has been hidden in the body of a normal human all these years.  It just so happens that his best friend, Arturo, is sharing his body with the evil Nova.

Though plot has been made humorously predictable and the themes of love and tragedy are as basic as they can be, the characters themselves pull the movie up to the level of real people thrown into fantastical situations.  This is especially true with Salvador Santos who is so self-centered and cowardly that he is reluctant to help the people around him, even when they are not in mortal danger.  He seems to have more flaws than a hero from a Greek tragedy yet he is destined to save the universe.  This alone should leave the viewer on the edge of their seat, even through the cornball themes of love and the crude bodily function jokes.

-K. Shanti Fitch

Check out the trailer:

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