Overly Complicated Plot Drags Down Frank Spano’s ‘Humanpersons’ (2018)

From Director Frank Spano (Hidden 2017) comes a new thriller called Humanpersons, which is about a man who is trying to please his father, protect his son, and regain his humanity. It stars Luis Fernandez (Dynasty), Maria Cecilia Sanchez (Carmen G), Fabiola Candido (Exit), Alex O’Dogherty (Kingdom of Heaven), and Mimi Lazo (Emerald Heart).

Synopsis:

James returns to his native Latin America after 30 years, with just one thing in mind – taking an organ from a human victim and smuggling it back to the United States. On this trip, he relives memories of his own violent past, which makes him think twice about redeeming his future.

James (Luis Fernandez) is the son of a mafioso whose family trades in human organs. When a deal goes sour, he watches in horror as his father brutally executes his brother in front of him and his young son. Ordered to go to Columbia and bring back a human liver, James leaves, knowing that the life of his son hangs in the balance. But going back to where he grew up will bring with it the reminder of the man he could have been.

Humanpersons has some great things going for it. I loved the realistic setting in the gritty slums of Columbia. The acting of the lead characters is terrific. The performance that really stuck out to me was Maria Cecilia Sanchez as Antonia, a friend from James’ past. In contrast to James, she represents the clean and pure goodness that exists outside his world of violence and corruption. Sanchez does a great job here, playing both wary and wanting to help James pull free.

Now for the bad. No one, and I mean NO ONE, knows how to hold a gun correctly in this movie. It’s a real problem when you are portraying men that are in a culture of guns and violence. There’s a mafia thug that’s shown holding an assault rifle with the stock up on top of his shoulder, and main character likes to hold his gun way up in the air like he’s a Charlie’s Angel. These are the kind of details that kill any credibility that you are trying to establish with your film.

Regarding the plot of Humanpersons, I really felt what the filmmakers were going for in this film. They had a good idea going with the arch of the redemption of James, but the writers over complicated the plot. James was initially sent to Columbia to get one liver, but instead of doing that, he started setting up an entire organ harvesting business for some reason. He did this while convincing the henchmen that they would make a ton of money. All that work for one liver? It seems too complicated. It’s a shame that these type of issues muddled up the entire story, because the redemption arc really had a lot of potential.

Other than a few graphic surgical scenes, there’s not a lot of gore in Humanpersons. Even with the plot issues, this film was still an interesting watch, and I look forward to what this director puts out in the future.

About Christine Burnham

When not writing, Christine Burnham is watching TV, Horror films, reading, cooking, and spending time with her menagerie of animals.

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