Steven Soderbergh's two-part epic about the Marxist guerrilla Ernesto “Che” Guevara contrasts his great triumph, the Cuban Revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power, with his great failure, the botched Bolivian campaign that ended with Che's capture and execution in 1967. Soderbergh makes a laudable effort to get past Che the T-shirt icon with a relentlessly prosaic study of Guevara's political and military tactics, but despite Benicio Del Toro's textured performance as the title character, there's too little human drama to justify the gargantuan 257-minute running time. Even Che's grand friendship with Castro (Demian Bichir) and romance with Aleida March (Catalina Sandino Moreno), the Cuban guerrilla he later married, are brushed aside by screenwriter Peter Buchman (Eragon
, Jurassic Park III
) in his plodding effort to gain the next hill. This could be the most elaborate term paper ever written for an undergrad poli-sci class. R, 257 min.
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