Retribution and El Desconocido: A Comparison of Two Thrilling Films

Retribution and El Desconocido A Comparison of Two Thrilling Films
Retribution and El Desconocido: A Comparison of Two Thrilling Films

Retribution and El Desconocido are two films that share the same basic premise of a man trapped in a car with a bomb, but have some differences in their execution and reception. In this article, we will compare and contrast these two films and see which one is better and why.

The Plot

Retribution is a remake of El Desconocido, which was released in 2015 and directed by Dani de la Torre. Retribution is directed by Nimrod Antal and was released in 2023. Both films follow the story of a corrupt bank executive who is targeted by a mysterious caller for his role in a financial scam. The caller informs him that his car is rigged with a bomb that will explode if he gets out or tries to contact anyone. He also tells him that he has to do a series of tasks to save himself and his family, who are also in danger.

The main difference between the two films is the setting and the character's name. El Desconocido is set in A Coruna, Spain, and stars Luis Tosar as Carlos. Retribution is set in Berlin, Germany, and stars Liam Neeson as Michael. Retribution also adds some scenes and characters that are not present in El Desconocido, such as a subplot involving Michael's estranged wife and a confrontation with a rival banker.

The Reception

El Desconocido received positive reviews from critics and audiences, and won several awards, including six Goya Awards, the most prestigious film awards in Spain. The film was praised for its suspense, realism, and social commentary. It also had a strong box office performance, grossing over $6 million in Spain.

Retribution received mixed reviews, with some praising Neeson's performance and the film's suspense, but others criticizing its lack of originality and depth. The film was also compared unfavorably to the original, with some calling it a “watered-down” version. The film had a modest box office performance, grossing over $12 million worldwide.

The Analysis

Retribution and El Desconocido are both thrilling films that keep the viewers on the edge of their seats, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. El Desconocido has a more realistic and gritty tone, while Retribution has a more stylized and glossy look. El Desconocido also explores the themes of guilt, redemption, and family more deeply than Retribution, which focuses more on the action and thrills.

However, Retribution is not without its merits. It has a more international appeal, thanks to Neeson's star power and the Berlin setting. It also has some exciting scenes and twists that are not in the original, such as the car chase and the reveal of the caller’s identity. It is a more accessible and entertaining film for the general audience.

The Conclusion

Retribution and El Desconocido are two films that have the same premise, but different approaches and outcomes. Both films are worth watching, depending on your preferences and expectations. If you are looking for a more realistic and profound film, you might prefer El Desconocido. If you are looking for a more fun and flashy film, you might enjoy Retribution. Either way, you will be in for a thrilling ride.

Further Analysis

In addition to the above, here is a more in-depth analysis of the two films: El Desconocido

Themes: El Desconocido explores a number of themes, including guilt, redemption, and family. Carlos is a corrupt businessman who has made a lot of money at the expense of others, but he also loves his wife and children. He is forced to face the consequences of his actions and to make amends for his mistakes. He also has to protect his family from the caller's threats and to reconnect with them. The film shows how Carlos changes from a selfish and arrogant man to a repentant and humble one.

Style: El Desconocido has a realistic and gritty style, with a handheld camera and natural lighting. The film creates a sense of claustrophobia and urgency, as Carlos is trapped in a car with a bomb and a phone. The film also uses sound and music effectively, with the caller's voice and the ticking of the bomb creating tension and suspense. The film also has some moments of humor and irony, such as when Carlos has to sing a song or when he meets a traffic officer.

Relevance: El Desconocido is relevant to the contemporary context of Spain, as it reflects the social and economic issues that the country faces. The film criticizes the corruption and greed of the banking system, which caused the financial crisis and the suffering of many people. The film also shows the impact of the crisis on the ordinary people, such as the taxi driver, the nurse, and the homeless man. The film also raises questions about justice, morality, and forgiveness.

Retribution Themes: Retribution has similar themes to El Desconocido, but it does not explore them as deeply or as convincingly. Michael is also a corrupt banker who is targeted by a caller for his involvement in a scam, but he does not show much remorse or change throughout the film. He is more concerned with saving himself and his family than with making up for his wrongdoings. He also does not have a strong bond with his family, as he is estranged from his wife and distant from his children.

Style: Retribution has a more stylized and glossy style, with a smooth camera and artificial lighting. The film creates a sense of spectacle and excitement, as Michael is involved in a car chase and a shootout. The film also uses sound and music in a more conventional way, with a loud and dramatic score and sound effects. The film also has some moments of cliché and implausibility, such as when Michael escapes from the police or when he confronts the caller.

Relevance: Retribution is less relevant to the contemporary context of Germany, as it does not reflect the specific social and economic issues that the country faces. The film does not criticize the banking system or the financial crisis, but rather uses them as a backdrop for the action and thrills. The film also does not show the impact of the crisis on the ordinary people, but rather focuses on the elite and the powerful. The film also raises questions about revenge, survival, and heroism.

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Sherif M. Awad
Sherif M. Awad
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