TL;DR – This is a film of two halves, one that really works, and one that really doesn’t
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Review – Today we get to review a film out of Mexico that delves into the world of office workplaces. A place of conflict, love, war, and comedy. It is here where we see the best and the worst of ourselves and others and it can be both a metaphorical and literal riot at times, and a bit frustrating at others.
So to set the scene, we open in on a city street in Mexico as someone in a mascot outfit walks down the street to the sounds of Staying Alive. He is very popular with everyone as they line up to take selfies with him right up until an elderly man shots him in the head with a t-shirt gun. It is here where we meet Omar Buendía (Gustavo Egelhaaf) the man behind the mascot outfit and his Abuelo (Alejandro Suárez) the man behind the gun. Well, Omar’s Abuelo has a minor heart attack, so has to step away from his job forcing Omar to find a steady white-collar job. Well, welcome to Relo Tech, a world of extremes … also a really toxic work environment.
One of the interesting features of the film is the stylistic way the film presents itself. It is completely happy in bending reality by implementing Augmented Reality aspects throughout the film. From the standard mobile phone text message pop up to diagnosing a heart attack and everything in between. It fits within the themes of the film but it also creates an extra level of engagement which helps it pop at times. This is combined with the music and the editing that reminded me of The Interview at times to create an engaging wrapper for the film’s story.
On the whole, this is a comedic film and a lot of your enjoyment of this will come from if the humour jells with you or not. In this regard, it does have a habit of reaching for the bottom for some of its jokes which is a bit of a pity. However, within the framework of a comedy, it is not afraid to explore more pressing issues. There is the generational divide between Omar and his Abuelo that shifts and melds throughout the film. Then there is the exploration of class as Omar the public school kid is positioned against the upper-class elements of the business like Roberto (Mauricio Argüelles) who is the biggest arse in it all even before he becomes a monster.
Where the film will work or fail for you is in the character of Omar. There are times when he is engaging as he is navigating the world around him and then there are times when he can be creepy. This juxtaposed with Relo Tech where the film can’t quite decide if they are evil in a comedic slapstick way or if it is just downright toxic, with the film bouncing back and forth between the two. This dissidence hurts the film because you find yourself not completely engaged with the character, right at the point in the film when it needs you to be.
In the end, do we recommend Mutiny of the Worker Bees? This is hard to say because there parts of this film that holds it back, which is frustrating. But when it is running at full steam it jells. If you liked Mutiny of the Worker Bees you will also enjoy Take Home Pay.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Mutiny of the Worker Bees
Directed by – Carlos Morett
Written by – Omar M. Albores & Carlos Morett
Music by – Alvaro Lamadrid Isoard “Wanatox”
Cinematography by – Mario Gallegos
Edited by – Rodrigo Zozaya Mac Gregor
Production/Distribution Companies – Netflix
Starring – Gustavo Egelhaaf, Alejandro Suárez, Bárbara de Regil, Mauricio Argüelles, Cesar Rodriguez, Fernando Becerril, Anna Carreiro, Carlos Macias Marquez, José Sefami, Raquel Garza, Carlos Morett & Ernesto Loera
Rating – Australia: M;