Thursday, August 30, 2007


Released: August 24, 2007

Reviewed: August 24, 2007

Rated: C+

Director Franc Reyes (Empire) knew he needed a solid team for this sophomore effort, and that’s exactly what he got. With John Singleton (Hustle&Flow) holding down the production side, Reyes remixed a classic mob film and came out with a hit. When Millie DeLeon (Wanda De Jesus) loses her husband to the street life, she vows to shield her son Wilson DeLeon, Jr. (Rick Gonzalez) from falling into his father’s footsteps. Little did she know that Wilson would have to step into his father’s shoes to defend the family name. After being spotted for the third time in 20 years by her dead husband’s affiliates, Millie is ready to pack up her two sons in search of a safe place. With Wilson Jr. being a strong-willed and very bright 21-year old college student now, he refuses to leave and demands answers. Fearing this day would come, Millie is forced to leave Wilson Jr. behind (not without leaving him a gun), to protect himself from the assassins hot on her trail. After a botched home invasion ends with Wilson Jr. shooting a man that came to kill his mother, Wilson Jr. decides that enough is enough. Tired of his mother on the run, Wilson Jr. takes the family matters into his own hands. Will he be able to persuade the man who had his father killed to accept a truce? It’s gonna take more than a gentleman’s agreement to end the hunt of his mother and Wilson Jr. knows it. Reyes did a decent job with Illegal Tender. This film is relatable and gut-wrenchingly real. With De Jesus’ Millie, there’s no doubt it’ll take nothing short of her death to breakup her family. Gonzalez again proves that he’s versatile and consistent at the same time. It’s not the best movie I’ve seen but it is refreshing, seeing as it’s a predominantly Latino cast and there’s nothing predictable about it. –ZS

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