'Eddie Reynolds y Los Angeles de Acero' Is an Uneven But Heartwarming Mex Rock Comedy
Fictitious band of losers stage a comeback in a story that involves a Bono double.
So Bono walks into an Irish record store...
That’s not a joke per se -- it’s the first scene of a new Mexican movie with a lot of jokes. Some really bad ones.
But even with its cringe-worthy cracks about blowjobs and masturbation, Eddie Reynolds y Los Angeles de Acero has some charm as a satiric but heartwarming tribute to the pioneers of Latin American rock.
As the movie begins, 'Bono' dashes into a Dublin record store for a little crate-digging (played by career “Bonodouble” Pavel Sfera.) When the kid at the cash register puts on an old 45 by the short-lived Mexican rock group Eddie Reynolds y Los Angeles de Acero, Bono immediately decides he has to cover the song with his band (this movie is definitely not a documentary).
Back in the suburbs of Mexico City, Lalo Reynoso, who used to be known as Eddie Reynolds, is working as a wedding singer, having long abandoned his rock dreams, as well as the Anglo stage name a label guy christened him with back when Los Angeles de Acero seemed poised to hit it big.
The band’s former bassist, who now gigs with Gloria Trevi (who is not in the movie), appears with the news that Bono wants permission to record the song. A slick young A&R guy back at the Mexican band's old label is dangling half a million dollars, and maybe a new contract, if Eddie/Lalo can find guitarist Santos -- the singer’s missing, alcoholic co-writer and his nemesis -- in time to sign before U2 goes off on tour.
What ensues has shades of The Full Monty, The Hangover and Spinal Tap, but the script of this bromantic comedy with boob shots is not much more than a premise. Luckily, Eddie Reynolds is fleshed out by a likeable cast, especially the quartet of known Mexican actors who gustily play their roles as the 50-year-old never-beens shooting for a second chance at stardom.
Damián Alcázar, as Eddie, even pulls off his ridiculous mullet with credibility. The movie also includes some true-to-life references to the real Mexican music scene, and it's nice to see the story of rock en español getting some screen time. Scenes include the band getting a break when they open for Molotov, and making a sensation at the Vive Latino festival. Even an unnamed Santana character makes an appearance, as Santos’s spiritual advisor.
Eddie Reynolds y Los Angeles de Acero opened in wide release in Mexico last weekend. A U.S. premiere has not yet been announced.