X (2002) - "Equis" is the story of Javier (Antonio Resines) a cop fighting a alcohol addiction that on this occasion has him waking in a strangers bed without memory of the night before. With a hangover he has to piece together his night which he learns included a gay lover being brutally murdered and the murder weapon in his possession. Unlike the comedy version of a hangover movie this is all very serious for Javier. No Mike Tyson tattoo on his face but with the lack of memory a whole bunch of problems. Was he involved in the murder? Could he have killed the hairdresser? Will his drunken absence to fulfill his sexual needs finally end his marriage? Just who killed the man he was with? Javier struggles through this very competent Noir slowly finding out bits and pieces until he solves the mysteries. The "X" in the side of the building across from where he wakes is something that pulls him to the place. Later when he learns that there was a murder there it puts the bag with the bloody scissors in his car into stark focus. Posing he manages to be on the scene and learn small amounts. Always paying attention to what is going on and noticing details is what this cop does. He manages to stay ahead of the investigation, both keeping his presence at the local guy club out of those details as well as not becoming a suspect himself until he figures the case out.
Several thing about this film are really very well done. The information is dribbled out without it seeming forced. Each time Javier learns something it still does not give him or the audience the full picture.Like the woman he wakes up with who brought his drunk ass up from the streets hoping to get laid, tries to get money from him to be an alibi. She is motivated by a crappy marriage to a spineless dweeb. She is past her prime and dresses to the nines to go out and pick up men for sex. It seems fine that she may want to be helpful to Javier but she and her husband have further ambitions that will most assuredly be there downfall.
The poor victim is a wonderful guy. Everyone liked him and thought he was great. A gay hairdresser living out his dream ends up with Javier and then dead in his own establishment. When Javier talks to his sister he learns how her brother took care of her. He had caused the accident that crippled one of her legs and he pays to get her the operations she needs to function. One as time goes on do we learn the full story. Her resentment that she is this way and the blame she still has towards her sibling. About how his coming out destroyed the conservative parents and split the family asunder.
More slowly turned out information:
We slowly learn of the money that was in the empty bag in Javier car and how it is connected to some local mobsters who want it back.
Javier and his wife Beatrice (Marta Belaustegui) have a relationship that is on the rock. His proclivity for men and excessive drinking is more than she can stand. She has tried, even getting pregnant hoping that would bring him fully into the relationship.
His police friends have always respected him and turned the other way when he expressed his preferences but more and more they look at him with suspicion. He is lucky in many ways to be able to play this story line out before they catch up to him. Javier is a very broken antihero who just manages through his wit and police skills.
In the end this is not a bad movie, I wished that the main character was a bit more likable but he was acceptable. The plot was well written and directed with just the right amount of luck versus skill. The ending is a bit of a downer but not unexpected since the story dictates the ending. The music was a bit too on the nose as far as wanting to elicit an emotion. They could really have toned it down and still been effective. The acting was very good throughout and should get some praise. The image of the ham is for my daughter who still remember her student exchange time in Spain where the family she stayed with continually sliced off the same unrefrigerated ham the whole time she was there. :) So overall I am going to pass this one onto you with a fairly decent recommendation
Rating (6.2) 5.0 and up are recommended.