Movie Review - Lowriders
A low-rider is an old car that has been customized with hydraulic systems to raise the chassis higher and lower than normal. They're also painted fresh, bright colors or have designs and specific paintings on them. Any car can be customized, but the preference seems to be Chevrolet cars from the 1950's and 60's, particularly coupes and sports cars by that maker and from that time.
Written by Elgin James and Cheo Hodari Coker, the movie doesn't do much to go beyond the surface of low-rider culture. In fact, it's barely utilized in this film. It's mostly background. It's not as integral as it is in Peter Bratt's La Mission (2010). The main character in La Mission was a guy who built low-riders. It was his main focus. Here, the main character is a graffiti artist who is the son of a mechanic that builds low-riders. It's close enough to low-rider culture but is still somewhat tangential and at times comes across as distant.
Demián Bichir (Alien: Covenant and The Hateful Eight) co-stars as Miguel Alvarez, the widowed father to Danny who has remarried. He runs a garage, which houses a low-rider that he uses to compete at the car competition in Elysian Park. We get a brief scene of that Elysian Park show but that scene isn't really about the cars. It's about his sons.
Danny loves and misses his brother, so when Ghost returns after his prison sentence, he's easily able to seduce Danny into going against their father. Danny feels his father doesn't appreciate him as an artist. Ghost wants to build a low-rider and compete against their father at Elysian Park. As a plot or a motivating factor in this movie, it's rather brushed off. It's not sure if that's how it is in the script, or if director Ricardo de Montreuil cut it short, but it felt like more should have been made of the Elysian Park competition. Instead, the film speeds over it.
Rated PG for language, some violence, sensuality and brief drug use.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 38 mins.