Bound for Honor: Taylor Hackford Hispanic Street Tale

When Hollywood tackles Hispanic-themed movies, the results can be disastrous.

In the Disney-made Bound for Honor, director Taylor Hackford aims at creating a Hispanic street epic, but winds up with an oddly diffuse movie.

The film purports to track the changing codes of alliance in L.A. barrio life, using Latino half-brothers Paco (Benjamin Bratt) and Cruz (Jesse Boreo), along with their half-Anglo cousin Miklo (Damian Chapa), as a triangle. But the characters are archetypes: Paco is the directionless loco who becomes a narc after a family tragedy; Cruz is the promising artist who turns to drugs after the tragedy; Miklo is the hothead whose desire to prove dedication to his turf sends him to prison.

The vatos go their separate ways, and the movie spins out digressions, losing sight of its central characters. Ross Thomas’ script centers on the dull character of Miklo and his struggles for prison supremacy.

Racial issues are treated in a confusing way, without nuance, and the movie’s population is claustrophobically small: No girlfriends or neighborhood denizens other than gang members. Gang life in East L.A. is complex enough to warrant a more interesting and accurate film than Hackford’s earnest, overlong drama, whose original title was Blood In, Blood Out.