The feature debut of Ben Hernandez Bray is the perfect mixture of his own childhood memories and decades of incredible stunt work. Bray teamed with his longtime friend and collaborator Joe Carnahan to give us this provocative action thriller. I chatted with Ben & Joe about this non-Marvel/DC Superhero origin tale, El Chicano.
“Our streets. Our fight. Our hero.” El Chicano Facebook Page.
The Our element of this movie is a nod to Bray’s Mexican American heritage and that long lineage plays a big part into the origin element of his feature debut. The film tackles the mysterious figure of El Chicano with a nice distance as any haunting figure deserves. A hero born from the loss of life to so many of his fellow people is a central theme that is echoed in Raul Castillo’s portrayal of our lead character Diego. The step up to lead actor by Castillo is another significant move by the actor that was everywhere in 2018. Bravo to the Texan who now can say he is a lead feature film actor amongst his accolades. He is just one of the many Latino actors that get a chance to shine in Bray’s debut.
But the real highlight of the film is the mixture of Ben Bray’s decade long creation of this story with his decades of work as one of hollywood’s leading stunt men. Along for the ride was fellow stuntman turned writer, director, producer Joe Carnahan who’s obvious touches are throughout the polished look of the script and film. The duo has come together to give an anthem worthy film for Mexican-American people but also a Super Hero tale that crosses the racial boundaries to be one of the year’s most exciting films.
I was moved by the time spent on the emotional turmoil of everyday life in the toughest of neighborhoods in the US. I was also amazed at the film’s believable and exciting action sequences.
One hero One Fighter is all that is needed to save Our Streets.
And now for the real treat. Here is my chat with Ben & Joe about the sad true origins of Ben’s story, the extensive stunt work, the wonderful musical score, boxing and so much more!
Don’t miss out on EL CHICANO! Out in theaters on MAY 3rd!