Title: Pólvora Negra

Also known as:
Gun Powder (English translation)

Year: 2011

Genre: Independent / Action / Western

Language: Portuguese

Runtime: 87 min

Director: Kapel Furman

Writer: Kapel Furman

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1924348/

Many years after having been left for dead, Castilho returns to the small town as a hitman and ends up in the middle of a family war.

Our thoughts:
Isn't it weird when you've come to a point where you can say you've just watched a "typical modern South American independent film"? Well, I'm far from an expert and I'm sure there is some arrogance in me saying it, but compared to such directors as Rodrigo Aragão, Patricio Valladares, etc. then Kapel Furman's "Pólvora Negra" does share some important things even though the film itself is different. And I'm definitely not saying it is a bad thing because I quite like all of the above mentioned - "Pólvora Negra" included. What I have found in these films is that they are often influenced by American films, but they're done with a DIY attitude, mixed with their own culture, nature/locations, and also often pretty open to the use of gore/blood. I know, it's a generalization so don't seek out to prove me wrong, but at least I am positive about it, right?

"Pólvora Negra" is a modern western - so basically it uses shoot-outs, a lot of Western film clichés, aesthetics, but puts it in a modern world. The story is also of a fairly standard kind: Our lead man, Castilho, returns to a town where he was once shot and left for dead. He returns for revenge but ends up in the middle of a family dispute and has to shoot his way through more than just his own problems. Of course he also takes a side in the dispute, sort of, by siding with a chef and his sisters because their half-brother, a now powerful man, will be getting the better end of a heritage.

The story might be thin but all I wanted out of "Pólvora Negra" was a cool lead character and a story that will promise action and blood squibs; check on both ends. Our lead, Castilho, lost an eye when he was left for dead so his one eye is all white. He has some quirks such as always drinking his alcohol through a straw. And of course he is a loner. It's just a simple, fun and cool character that we quickly feel safe with. The characters that will offer some (even if just a little) comic relief are the two chefs. One is part of the family dispute, the other one is an old Asian man, and they are both highly likable. The story doesn't take a lot of shocking turns that will have you under its spell, but the shoot-out scenes are really great - I absolutely loved the occasional over-the-top blood at times, but it didn't do too much of it like some of the recent Japanese splatter films have.

I'm not a big fan of western flicks overall but I always appreciate a good movie and/or a good shoot-out. "Pólvora Negra" might not be the most original film I have seen, and it does contain some very expected turns, but it's an entertaining movie where we really like our lead guy, and are rooting for him to kill these motherfuckers. He's just the typical macho character we need in a film like this, and it's absolutely fine that it doesn't offer much outside of the norm. "Pólvora Negra" is a modern, simpler South American version of the old Western classics, and if that something you think you would enjoy then check it out!

Positive things:
- It's entertaining!
- Great shoot-outs.
- The lead character is cool in all the right places.
- Has some characters that bring on the comic relief, but never too much.
- Blood!
- The sex dream.
- I'm digging these South American independent films.
Negative things:
- Might not offer much you haven't seen before.

Gore: 2.5/5
Nudity: 1/5
Story: 2.5/5
Effects: 2.5/5
Comedy: 1.5/5

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