The feature debut from writer-director Cassius Corrigan, Huracán is what happens when you merge a psychological thriller with an underdog sports movie. As you would expect, these genres make strange bedfellows This unfortunate blunder makes for a poorly paced picture that struggles to find its footing, marking a disappointing start to Corrigan’s filmmaking career.
Out on parole for assault, amateur MMA fighter Alonso (Corrigan) suffers with multiple personality disorder brought on by a traumatic childhood event. After losing his job and being evicted from his small apartment, Alonso seeks support from his therapist (Yara Martinez) and his coach (Gregory Choplin) to help get his life back on track and cope with his trauma. Meanwhile, he becomes implicated in the murder of another one of his coaches and prepares for a shot at fighting in the pro circuit.
Made with the aim of drawing attention towards the treatment of mental illness, particularly EMDR therapy (a form of psychotherapy that this film claims to be the first to feature ), and giving a voice to local Latino talent in the industry, Corrigan’s debut clearly has admirable intentions. In fact, the therapy sessions that demonstrate this technique are some of the most emotionally charged and hard-hitting sequences in the movie, which showcase the filmmaker’s directing and acting chops. Unfortunately, though, the rest of the project fails to live up to this standard.
A better director than writer, Corrigan is at his best when he dives into the abstract. Utilising psychedelic editing and hypnotic visuals, he transfixes viewers and draws them into the grimy version of Miami presented on screen. However, as soon as the script interjects into the scene, this immersion is broken. Dialogue is clunky and delivered in less-than-stellar performances by most of the cast, with Choplin’s performance comparable to Tommy Wiseau impersonating Rocky’s Mickey.
As clunky as the script is, it pales in comparison to the awkwardness of the fight scenes. While the filmmaker hails them as “authentic and visceral”, the actual action is slow and weightless. To give them a sense of impact, Corrigan curiously adds an effect that shakes the camera with (literally) every blow. The excessive repetitiveness of this wears thin fast, becoming nothing more than lazy filmmaking.
Corrigan is a director with potential, and his feature debut displays the sparks of a bright future. Huracán, however, is a rocky start on his path.
Huracán is released in select cinemas on 9th October 2020.
Watch the trailer for Huracán here: