Manny Perez directs and stars in La Soga 2, the sequel to an independent action film that took place in the Dominican Republic. Viewers can rent the first installment on Google and YouTube, but for the most part, the film can stand on its own, convoluted story. As the star, he plays Luisito, former enforcer for a General Colon. Ten years after that job, he’s laying low in Rhode Island of all places. But running away from the past can only do so much to protect himself and his wife.
If this story feels familiar, well, it isn’t and it is. A mercenary fed kidnaps Luisito’s wife Lia, and the fed forces Luisito to kill El Calvo. El Calvo possesses a memory stick naming and proving the most corrupt politicians in the Dominican Republic. Despite dying under a mysterious sniper’s (Hada Vanessa) hands, Luisito claims to have done the job the fend wanted him to do. But that sniper ends up kidnapping Lia away from the fed and his henchmen.
Those points in the story’s arc exists for Perez to basically play a Liam Neeson role, asking ‘where’s my wife’ to people who don’t even know that someone kidnapped Lia. Critics have pointed out how the original aestheticized poverty in the developing world, but this sequel has no aesthetic. You’re probably reading this after La Soga 2′s first screening, but this is my first TIFF movie this year. It can only get better from a film that is lacking.