Winter. Closed night. Below zero. On a deserted highway, a prisoner transfer van is brutally assaulted . Martín (Javier Gutiérrez), the policeman who drives him, manages to survive and entrench himself inside the cubicle . Inside, the prisoners look for a way to finish him off and escape. Outside, someone is lurking . He wants one of the inmates and he won’t stop until he is handed over to him .
On this last weekend of January, Netflix premieres a new Spanish action thriller set on the icy roads of Castilla-La Mancha. Directed by Lluís Quílez (Out of the Dark) and co-written with Fernando Navarro ( Secret origins ), the film delayed its release in theaters several times due to the pandemic until, finally, the platform took control of the rights to broadcast it around the world . The film does not go with frills and introduces us to the subject quickly . Thus, after a short approach to the ironclad principles of the protagonist, Quílez lets loose a handful of unpredictable characters within a claustrophobic and impenetrable setting . With a bit of police controversy, criminals of different kinds playing with our sympathy and a bloody villain who will not stop until he achieves his goal,the film has the ideal ingredients for all good genre entertainment .
A collection of dilemmas begins to pile up as the minutes go by and we begin to perceive which leg each character is limping on. Javier Gutiérrez (Hogar), one of those actors who always complies, is a policeman who defends the law tooth and nail, even if it is sometimes unfair . Highlighting Patrick Criado ( Riot Control ) and Luis Callejo (Ane), the prisoners are locked up for reasons such as possession, political corruption or murder and will not hesitate to act in their best interests. However, not everything in life is black or white , and it is here where the libretto takes advantage of our ability to establish any type of relationship with each of them. For his part, when a fierce and determined Karra Elejalde (While the war lasts) enters into action, his modus operandi and motivation are the drops that end up filling this tragic glass full of violence, anger and despair in the face of injustice .
‘Below Zero’ is an intense thriller that, aware of its ups and downs and script conveniences, manages to keep the tension from beginning to end . It has an icy and impeccable photograph by Isaac Vila ( The disorder you leave ) and an effective soundtrack by Zacarías M. de la Riva(Super Agent Makey). It is true that the film does not develop too much its protagonist or the other characters, but it does not need it. Here, the fundamental is found in the morbidity of the premise, of that roller coaster of empathies that are generated throughout its development . But above all it is impacted by its outcome, the consummation of a revenge motivated by the consequences derived from such a sensitive and current issue in our country . A resolution that provokes a violent internal debate in the viewer during the final minutes . If the law doesn’t work, is the violence justified? Come in, see and decide.