I have been revisiting a lot of classics lately. I mean with Movie stop going out of business I have gotten a lot of them for $2 or less J. I managed to get hold of a copy of one of my favorite classic films Born in East LA. I remember last watching this on HBO with my father as he loved anything doing with Cheech, Chong or both. So of course we need to move this way together back into the past.
Our hero is a man living with his family and running his own auto repair business. He has been sent to a factory to meet a family member that had come across the border to visit. Unfortunately this is the same time that the government has come by to raid the place and our hero, who has left his wallet at home gets thrown in with the crowd and deported. We now start the story of a man trying to get back across the border into the United States and all the difficulties therein.
This movie is a classic. I love these old films, they have a biting humor that you cannot utilize in this day and age. The laughs here are frequent and Cheech has always been good with comedic timing. I think one scene involving a picture of Jesus (if you have seen it you know the one) still has me almost rolling around and laughing. Also having the character born and raised in the united states and of course not being able to speak Spanish is a pretty funny yet cool commentary on our education system here. The acting in this film is passable and the casting is enjoyable. It is great to see our friend Marv back in action in a smarter but more slimy role. The last scene in my opinion is pretty powerful and can evoke multiple feelings in people (what type of feeling depends on what side of the fence you are on).
This movie does suffer from being a creature of its time. First we have the typical comedy format of the 80s and 90s which involves the same overall formula for comedies of that time. Seeing this movie isn’t much different from seeing others such as Delirious, Shrimp on the Barbie or Cadillac Man, the jokes change but the overall formula remains the same in the end. I have nothing fully against this format as it has produced many a good comedy over the years but it is still there and therefore the freshness of this film is not so good. Of course the jokes themselves have a hard time standing up to the tests of time. In a society that is very much more socially aware and politically correct a lot of the jokes come across as borderline offensive to most and to those more opposed to immigration it would be downright terrible. If you cannot hold back that social justice warrior within none of Cheech’s films should be on your list as there is a lot of stereotyping going on.
In the end this is another great comedy from the 90s. It may be showing its age but like many films of the time you look at it from the standpoint of the time were in on its creation and can still sit back and laugh. This is a classic I would easily recommend to any non-social justice warrior that just likes fun comedy.