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Movie Reviews

‘4×4’ review: Claustrophobic thriller asks interesting questions

Based on a strange true story.

4×4 is an Argentine-Spanish crime thriller about a thief named Ciro who breaks into a truck in order to steal the radio. As it turns out, the truck has a security system that cuts the power off. This leaves Ciro trapped in the process. The car has also been soundproofed ensuring no one hears the cries for help. More incredibly, it is based on a true story.

Obviously, the movie requires a large suspension of disbelief. Over the years, audiences have seen captives escape from all manners of vehicles. 4×4 deals with this by throwing the audience immediately into the plot. By allowing those watching to become immersed in its claustrophobic story, director Mariano Cohn allows greater focus on the actual film.

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This is a wise decision since the story has so much going for it. Using the simple setup, 4×4 begins to ask questions of right and wrong. What starts as a petty thief choosing the wrong vehicle, quickly becomes a statement about vigilante justice. Enrique Ferrari – the owner of the truck – has been a victim of theft man times over, but his actions to Ciro are nothing short of torture.

'4x4' review: Claustrophobic thriller asks interesting questions

The movie also uses this opportunity to tackle classism. Enrique is wealthy and has decided to use his resources to mete out justice. He feels that society has become corrupted by people like Ciro and it is up to people like him to correct that. Though the movie tackles interesting topics, it does have a paper thin plot. 4×4 is at its best when it is in the confines of the titular vehicle.

Ciro has an interesting character arc. He starts off as a confident thief and over the course of the film he becomes desperate and paranoid. The audience feels sympathy as people cluelessly stroll by the vehicle, even using its windows as a mirror. Unfortunately, the finale does not hold up as well as the rest of the film. After the tight settings and profound questions, 4×4 limps its way towards the ending. Things are wrapped up a little too neatly. Still, the lead up is arresting.

4×4 releases on digital and VOD February 2

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