Holy Carole Baskin, what the fuck went wrong with SERGIO, a new Netflix ‘original’ film that just came out this past weekend? I mean, the only entertaining parts are the 3 brief scenes the main protagonist is talking politics (making America look like absolute shit, I wanted more of that!) and a gratuitous, unneeded yet welcomed by me sex scene that involves the beautiful Ana De Armas, once again throwing inhibition (and her clothes) to the wind. I mean seriously…if you look at all her past work, she is the Kate Winslet of a new generation. The film is a giant slap in the face to the real life United Nations diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello and instead being a biographical film about his life and how he tried to change politics, life and reason for the Iraqi people amid the fallout of the Iraq War in 2003 instead is a…love story? Showing how the guy kind of neglected his kids in the long run (current and estranged wife not given one second of fictional screen time) to sleep and fall in love with a beautiful woman half his age? YIKES. Add on top of that the wrong choice to play with time a bit, inter cutting too many random times between trapped in the basement of the hotel where he was working in Baghdad because of a terrorist bombing and the uninteresting love story. Did the ACADEMY NOMINATED SCREENWRITER (Dallas Buyers Club) of this (Craig Borten) not read through his script, and realize the most interesting parts of the film were the small bits where Sergio talks politics to other politicians and leaders? Or did the funding people get involved and thought people wouldn’t think that kind of stuff were interesting? Or did the director change everything just because he wanted to see Ana De Armas naked up close and personal? Who knows?
But what I do know is that this movie is an absolute bore and snore fest. BO-RING. The non boring part of the whole thing was me doing research on the behind the scenes of the film and the politician himself to see what the fuck went wrong with this tale that is obviously filled with ripe narrative storytelling fruit when reading in between the lines. And I pinpointed it down to the most obvious answer: the director also directed a 2009 film also entitled Sergio…that is a documentary film (and probably much better than this drivel) about the politician, using real life footage to tell his entire political life story, digging deep into his believes and policies. They barely touch on the stupid love story in that bullshit, why couldn’t they have just done a straight forward doc to feature film. Yeah sure, you are basically just remaking your documentary with actors that can really act, and throw in some original cinematography and location shooting…but if your documentary won a bunch of accolades…why mess with that formula? And it’s so frustrating because when you take the few short great scenes of Sergio (played wonderfully by Wagner Moura) trying to make foreign places better by trying to help people with his strategies and beliefs, and if they would’ve cut the love story completely, or had it as a small side plot D or E, this film could’ve been something special. But no, you get Sergio and Ana De Armas flirting and fucking each other for an hour and a half out of the 2 hour run time. “Oh, Sergio, I did my homework on you and even though I like you and I want to fuck you, I found out that you are still currently married.” “But I like you and want to fuck you too and my wife is really just a stranger to me in this day and age.” “Oh that’s true, so make out with me in the next scene and fuck me later when we get to know each other better.” If you couldn’t tell I’m rolling my eyes right now.
Even though Armas and Moura have great chemistry in the movie, their chemistry is in the wrong love story, in the wrong movie. I literally did not care about their characters when they were with each other. I cared about the real Sergio, and what he did to try and make others lives better. How he called out devious American politicians and their bullshit. I wanted more of those scenes. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a naked Ana De Armas as much as the next straight male (or lesbian, not trying to exclude you all) but as a movie goer, and not just your average one, I expect much more out of the movies I watch, nude women or sex scene be damned. There didn’t need to be a sex scene in this movie at all, and I have a sneaking suspicion that there wasn’t really one in the script, and then Ana De Armas got signed on, the director saw she didn’t have a no nudity clause in her contract, and the pervert in him decided to add that scene, just so he could see her nude up close and personal for a couple of hours. Did his giant ego from getting accolades over his documentary over a decade ago hide his boner? Probably not. And just to reiterate, I’m just speculating here, I highly doubt that is all what really happened (or am I?). I guess the one thing that this film managed to do correctly was make me actually want to seek out that documentary. I bet it is a solid and interesting true life watch. Netflix’s Sergio (just another one of the dozen Netflix clunkers to have already come out in 2020) is just another one of those cases where glorifying a real life story and ultimately making a Hollywood-esque tale where people would want to pay attention only to the fantasy and not the cold hard nitty gritty facts, really and truly, just backfired and bombed (pun intended) like a motherfucker.