Highway Patrolman | Chicago Reader

Highway Patrolman

The anarchistic and unpredictable English director Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid & Nancy, Walker) goes bilingual in this 1992 Mexican picture, the dialogue of which is all in Spanish. In some ways it's his best work—a beautifully realized tale about the life of a Mexican highway patrolman who's neither sentimentalized nor treated like a villain: he takes bribes but has a sense of ethics. Wonderfully played by Mexican star Roberto Sosa, he's a more believable cop than any Hollywood counterparts that come to mind. Starting off as a sad-sack comedy with black overtones, the film gravitates into grim neorealism, but Cox has a flair for surrealist filigree (worthy of Buñuel in spots) and straight-ahead action, and he does some marvelous things with both the actors and the Mexican landscape. In some respects, this is a return to the funky, witty pleasures of Repo Man, but the virtuoso long-take camera style—there are only 187 cuts in the entire movie—and emotional depth show a more mature filmmaker than we've had before.

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