The Latin Dragon is back! Following a successful stint in Hollywood that saw him win awards stunt-doubling for the Rock in The Rundown, Chilean martial artist Marko Zaror returned home to attempt the unlikely -- make the very first Chilean martial arts film. The end result was Kiltro, a spaghetti-Western-tinged epic that topped both box-office and critics’ lists in his native land, and now Zaror is doing it again with Mirageman. But where Kiltro took its cues from Chile’s spectacular landscapes, Mirageman begins with Chile’s raw urban jungle and fuses that with a classic, early’80s, low-budget Hong Kong chop-socky vibe.
Zaror is the titular Mirageman, a masked hero roaming the urban streets in his homemade costume, meting out his bruising brand of justice to the criminals preying upon the weak. And why don a mask to beat down thugs in the street? Because his first chance encounter led to news coverage that brought hope –- and a marked improvement –- to his superhero-obsessed, mentally ill, hospitalized little brother, of course! Want the boy to get better? Put on a mask and lay on the beatings!
Yes, Mirageman is incredibly campy, but it knows it is, and it revels in its own excesses. The direction and editing are sharp and Zaror is simply a physical force to be reckoned with. The man moves in ways someone his size should never be able to approach and he has developed a unique on-screen fight style that incorporates elements from a host of disciplines into something entirely fresh. The fights here are raw and brutal, with no wire assists and –- reportedly –- actual fight moves preferred to screen fighting. Meaning that when you see Zaror kick a goon in the face, he’s really kicking the goon in the face. Ouch.
Director: Ernesto Díaz Espinoza
Screenplay: Ernesto Díaz Espinoza
Cast: Marko Zaror
María Elena Swett
Producers: Derek Rundell
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures