One aspect of this movie that I found interesting occurred in the first couple of scenes. There is a definite contrast in the level of organization between the Americans and Mexicans. In a way, it seemed ironic. The Mexican cops knew where the drugs were going to be even though it was a simple drop in the middle of the desert. The Mexican army also knew what was happening and were very precise and disciplined in how they intercepted the police. The Americans, on the other hand, had a much more complex and high tech way of trying to stop the drug smuggler, but the DEA and police ended up getting in each other’s way because they had no communication between themselves. Their drug bust ended up in a chaotic gunfight and chase, and the smuggler nearly got away. In the Mexican scene, guns were drawn but never fired. Their bust was more controlled, which is opposite of what you would expect from the Mexican side.
I liked how this movie was contrasting to the other movies that we’ve seen in this class where the sections are split up and generally (mainly at first) the two countries were separate instead of like in The Wild Bunch where we were mainly evaluating the Americans physically in Mexico.
All of the Americans in the movie are upper class Americans, even the kids are rich - rich and drug addicts. But it wasn’t like a common theme where Americans are rich and Mexicans are poor because the movie showed both rich and poor Mexicans.
In a lot of the parts in the US that had something to do with Michael Douglas and his family, the screen was blue and everything in Mexico had a gold/bronze screen. Why? Maybe it’s partly to make the different sections even more contrasting and easily distinguishable?
Michael Douglas’ character is as concerned with helping drug users as he is with stopping drugs, perhaps because of his daughter’s drug problem. He ends up talking to the General, and asks him about Mexico’s treatment of addiction and his answer is that when they overdose, there’s one less person to worry about. This is another example of how Mexico and the US contrast in this movie.