Newest Reviews
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
  Jailbreak Pact The Dig
Year: 2020
Director: David Albala
Stars: Benjamin Vacuna, Eusebio Arenas, Amparo Noguera, Roberto Farias, Patricio Contreras, Francisca Galivan, Diego Ruiz, Mateo Iribarren, Gonzalo Conelo, Willy Semler, Mauricio Roa, Victor Montero, Alberto Ellena, Juan Diaz Garay, Vladimir Huaiquinir
Genre: Drama, Thriller, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1988, and in South America, Chile remains under the thumb of the fascist dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet. But there is opposition, which has led to protest, but also has the effect of increasing the numbers of political prisoners in the jails, and as they do not have high security prisons, these people are relegated to their own blocks to keep them away from the other inmates. The conditions are cramped, and though they are allowed to busy themselves with crafts and football, television too, there are regular victimisations of the politically incarcerated, including beatings, and of course many of them have the death penalty to look forward to since they are there while their lawyers try to reduce their sentences. This cannot go on...

Jailbreak Pact, originally known as Pacto de Fuga in its native Chile, was based on a true story, and though some liberties were taken with the truth to render more of a thriller scenario, it was more or less accurate to the spirit of the facts, as seen by the authentic newspaper headlines in the end credits. Some quibbled that the politics of the characters were somewhat downplayed, them being Communists in the main, but it was mentioned, and we did get the impression of a group of men on the left of a very right wing regime enough times to be clear these were not prisoners for crimes like murder or rape. That said, halfway through they did get agitated about some of the supposed freedom fighters ruining their cause by turning to violent attacks on the police.

Director David Albala was unusual in that he was a paraplegic, and even in this point of the twenty-first century disabled film directors were rare, but his talent for keeping what was quite a long set of scenes simmering away over the course of two hours plus had been honed in television. You could see how this would have made for a pretty decent miniseries had they split it in two, but Albala had the nous to offer up shots and suspense scenes worthy of the medium that would have been lessened on a TV screen (though admittedly, that's where most would watch it). Still, it always felt justified as a motion picture, and once the prisoners start to dig their escape tunnel, which gruellingly will take well over a year to complete with no guarantee of success, this was pretty engrossing stuff with only the occasional longueurs.

There was a large ensemble cast, and with their era-appropriate hairdos and facial furniture there was a danger that some could be difficult to follow through the plot, which was by no means simple. Certainly the ostensible lead Benjamin Vacuna was slightly hampered by the character playing the doctor who had the same glasses and shaggy barnet as he did, and there were rather too many portly, moustachioed middle aged men to contend with. Set that aside, and you had a solid prison break effort, the baddies and goodies well delineated so if you were so inclined you could hiss the guards and officials and cheer the political inmates when things went their way, not easy when they had to suffer through aggressive searches, beatings, solitary and even an earthquake that threatens to cave in the precious tunnel. Though even here there was a little nuance: the regulation informer is not some wicked turncoat, but a man trying to save his family from the authorities' death squads. Overall, maybe there were no real surprises here, especially if you knew the story beforehand, but it was a demonstration political cinema could be as good as one of the better thrillers.

[Signature Entertainment presents Jailbreak on Digital Platforms 1st March 2021.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 501 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: