Robbing Peter

Rated NR

Robbing Peter is a bone-dry comedy with three interlocking stories. Pedro (Louie Olivos Jr.), a middle-aged Mexican man, decides to try a life of crime when his other job prospects fail. Thus, he becomes a drug mule. Strangely, his first big drug deal goes bad. I’ve never seen a film where a drug deal goes bad before; in virtually all other cinematic representations of drug deals, they go off without a hitch, and the dealers retire to lives of luxury. The drug deal is played as deadpan comedy, and most of the actors get the concept, especially Pedro Pano and Alejandro Patino. In an obvious rip-off of A Tale of Two Cities, Pano plays a man who wants to earn an honest living, and Patino plays a gangster who wants to be a ninja. The biggest downside of Robbing Peter is Victor Martinez as drug kingpin Don Epifanio. He plays the part with comic-book excess, constantly cackling like Lex Luthor on a mound of kryptonite and stroking a pet rabbit with Blofeld-like glee. This is way too broad for the restrained style of the film and seems like an insulting intrusion. Robbing Peter’s strongest point is the tight integration of its three tales, but with about a third of the movie given over to Don Epifanio’s supervillain act, Robbing Peter only gets a C+.

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