Perdida

2 out of 5

Directed by: Alejandro Montiel

To give some completely unimportant context that you don’t care about, this ended up in my Netflix queue by means for which I cannot account.  There’s not an actor in it I’d suspect myself of caring about, and its description is as bland as the majority of the flick, suggesting it wasn’t just a browsed addition.  That is: I had no motivation for watching this beyond the dedication to work through my queue, regardless of how things were added to it.  Maybe your reasons differ, and you ended up enjoying the movie more than I did as a result.  Yip yip?

Luisana Lopilato stars as Pipa, tuff rebel cop who does the tuff rebel cop thing in an opening sequence and takes down a kid-kidnapper on her lonesome, no warrant, all ass-kickin’ bizness.  She gets chewed out by the chief, of course, and rebuffs some unwanted advances from slimy guy she works with, then gets the usual “take some time off” speech that leads to our tuff rebel cop doing some free time investigatin’ into something that gets them in trouble.

Which, in Perdida, occurs when Pipa attends the funeral of a friend disappeared some years back, persuaded by friend’s mother to find out exactly what happened, as the funeral is in lieu of a body or definitive answers.  The clues are tenuous and stupid – someone mysterious drops a handkerchief with a pattern that can be internet searched to a particular shipping location! – and some random flashbacks and cutaways to characters who seem unrelated to everything piece together the story well enough before the script actually starts offering up any context.  But we still have to plod through Pipa shouting conspiracy and no one believing her, and obvious double-crosses.

To be fair, this is at about the level of an average TV police procedural, making it entertaining enough, it’s just a stretch at 90 minutes, highlighting all of the above mentioned cliches that are more excusable in a bite-sized format.  The structure is also problematic, using dual timelines, past and present, in such a way that we never care much about Pipa as a youngster, her friend, or Pipa as a cop; I’m not sure that making it linear would have been better, but more focus on building up Pipa’s proficiency as an investigator and the importance of this friend’s disappearance would have probably made things more engaging.  But, y’know, that wasn’t the case.