Starring: Paco León, Carmen Machi, Maribel del Pino
Director: Fernando Colomo
Running Time: 90 mins
The Tribe (La tribu) is a Spanish film about a former CEO who, a year after being humiliated worldwide and losing everything, loses his memories as well, and finds himself becoming part of an urban dance troupe alongside his long-estranged birth mother.
While it’s a simple and fairly easy-going comedy with a good few laughs here and there, The Tribe is far from the best of the year, suffering with an irritating and really rather preposterous story, coupled with less-than-likable characters and humour that, while not terrible, didn’t have me laughing my socks off from beginning to end.
Let’s start on the bright side, however, with the fact that the film is at least a simple affair. It’s not the best comedy ever made, but its saving grace is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, or ever getting too involved in too much character drama at any point. As a result, it works well as a throwaway comedy that passes 90 minutes fairly well, and with the odd chuckle here and there, it is a film that can provide an enjoyable watch in a certain regard.
With that said, however, there’s little else to really praised about The Tribe. It’s not a particularly terrible film, but nor is it a particularly good film. Instead, it’s one of those comedies that’s so simple and generic it’s caught in a frustrating middleground of mediocrity. So, while I didn’t hate it or find it immensely boring, there’s very little about it that really stands out in my mind.
However, the one thing that does stick out in the memory is the film’s central premise, which is, for want of a better word, completely ridiculous. Following a man who, a year after having had his entire life turned upside down, then ends up losing his memory and suddenly becoming a half-disabled person, the plot takes immense liberties with any sense of reality, and although its simple nature means that it doesn’t cheapen it in any way, what it does do is take away from any potential of intrigue that you may take in the story or the characters.
As a result, every development in the story is just another random point of borderline fantasy, and with the further issue that most of the lead characters are just cartoonish excuses for the odd gag, the film becomes a really rather irritating watch, far from the simple, easy-going comedy that it starts out as.
Overall, then, I wasn’t all that impressed by The Tribe. It’s a simple comedy to start off with, and with the odd laugh here and there it can prove an enjoyable watch if you turn your brain right off. However, there are far better comedies out there, and with a ridiculous story and annoying characters, there’s very little about The Tribe that’s going to really entertain you, instead just pass 90 minutes in frustratingly mediocre fashion, which is why I’m giving it a 6.7.