Movie Review: Taekwondo

Gabriel Epstein and Lucas Papa in Taekwondo

Jump to the good stuff: The Story | Some Thoughts | The Final Verdict

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Story:

Taekwondo is a drama about a group of men spending a vacation together.

When Fernando (Lucas Papa) invites Germán (Gabriel Epstein) to spend a vacation with him and a group of his male friends, Germán agrees. Germán moves in and Fernando introduces him to his friends, explaining that they take a Taekwondo class together.

Although Germán spends time with the men in the house, he mostly hangs out with Fernando. While Germán is gay, he’s not sure if Fernando is interested in him as a friend or something more. And to confuse things further, he doesn’t even know if Fernando is gay.

Some Thoughts:

Taekwondo focuses more on machismo and male culture than the tension between Germán and Fernando. The interactions between all of the men are realistic, as is how comfortable they are with each other. And since they’ve all been friends for years, they have stories that bring up questions about how deep some of their friendships are.

Like the previous Marco Berger films I’ve reviewed (Hawaii, The Blonde One), Taekwondo unfolds through everyday interactions. The acting is decent, and the cinematography gives the film a natural look and feel.

Because Taekwondo is more about male culture than gay romance, it doesn’t focus solely on Fernando and Germán’s story. This is a bit different from Hawaii and The Blonde One, which focuses solely on the two central characters.

Berger has a very specific sense of story and style that makes his work stand out. And although Berger directed Taekwondo with Martín Farina, it still feels like Berger’s film.

The Final Verdict:

If you like movies about male bonding that are more about theme than story, then Taekwondo is a good choice. If you’ve never seen any of Berger’s films, you might want to start with The Blonde One of Hawaii instead.

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