02nd May2019

‘Worth’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Eduardo Castrillo, Samantha Aper, Tony Todd, Clifton Powell, Miguel A.Nunez Jr, Willie Barcena, Mauricio Alonso, Jose Palacios | Written by Eduardo Castrillo, Jose Palacios | Directed by Eduardo Castrillo

worth-artwork

Directed by and starring Eduardo Castrillo, Worth is a love letter to Muay Thai Kickboxing and tells of Ricky (Castrillo, Hunting Season), a top contender in Muay Thai meets and falls in love with Danielle (Samantha Aper), a paralegal in the city. Together they embark a relationship dealing with his championship match and her big court case. Danielle gets into an accident putting her into a coma and now Ricky has to do whatever it takes in order to pay for medical care…

OK, so that’s the official synopsis, but what is Worth really like? Well its essentially the same underdog story we’ve seen in a thousand sports films – from Rocky to Teen Wolf and even this films kickboxing compadre, Bloodsport. Only it focuses on the emotional relationship between Ricky and Danielle, at the COMPLETE EXPENSE of the so-called sporting story its supposed to be!

Which means that we get a bunch of scenes of Ricky training, not in any sort of dedicated fashion he should be considering he’s up for his first fight, but instead having fun with his new girlfriend.  Then scenes of Ricky and Danielle chatting, then scenes of the pair going out: for a walk, a meal, to sit on the cliff edge and look at the sunset… Anything but the “love letter to Muay Thai Kickboxing” the official synopsis promised. If anything this seems to be Eduardo Castrillo’s love letter to his leading lady.

Oftentimes, with films as low budget as this clearly is, genre filmmakers will resort to ramping up the visuals, the action, the excitement, however Worth does the opposite – it downplays EVERYTHING. It’s almost as is there was no set plan for the film, no real script and no idea how to stage a Rocky-esque underdog action flick. Honestly, if I wanted to watch a low-budget romantic drama I’d look anywhere but here! And when we do get to THE fight, the big climax of the film – with Ricky putting everything on the line to save his girlfriend – it’s one of the most disappointing fight scenes I’ve seen in some time. Not only does it look like an almost-empty indie wrestling show, not some big Muay Thai fight put on by a big promoter; but it only last a few minutes. Literally a few minutes! And its scored with a soppy, downbeat tune. Again, EVERYTHING is downplayed here – where the dramatic build, the rousing musicand the big finish? Not here that’s for sure.

It’s obvious that writer/director Eduardo Castrillo was working with the best he had but the sheer low-budget nature of the film kills any momentum, or interest, the story has. It’s only down to the chemistry between Castrillo and his leading lady Samantha Aper that Worth is worth (pun intended) your time. Well that and a brief appearance from the legend that is Tony Todd.

Worth is available on Amazon Prime now.

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