HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

‘Illegal Tender’ is Yawningly Generic, Must-Miss Movie of Summer

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

Rating: 1.5/5CHICAGO – Though not billed as a comedy, “Illegal Tender” is one of those yawningly generic films that tries too hard to be taken seriously and ends up making you laugh.

If you haven’t heard of the film by now, it’s better to keep it that way.

Wanda De Jesus in Illegal Tender
Wanda De Jesus in “Illegal Tender”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

“Illegal Tender,” which opens on Friday, is the must-miss movie of the summer. Its story of revenge, redemption, ethnic pride and the glue bonding a troubled family is boring, predictable and overdone.

Scenes in which a mother and her 21-year-old son blaze out of their posh residence with guns blazing in broad daylight and a cop nary in sight are particularly ludicrous.

Lead role selection in “Illegal Tender” also proved fatal.

A film like the new “Resurrecting the Champ” does well with a top-grade actor like Samuel L. Jackson taking the helm while “Stardust” is equally commended for selecting the relatively unknown Charlie Cox as the man of the hour.

Rick Gonzalez in Illegal Tender
Rick Gonzalez (middle) in “Illegal Tender”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

You know “Illegal Tender” is off to a paltry start when you see the rookie Rick Gonzalez attempt to strut the bad-boy, awww-yeah stuff that should spill out from his character.

Instead, he feels like a 21-year-old boy just going through puberty. He fires his first big-barreled gun like it was his inaugural BB gun at boy scout camp.

Featuring an entire cast of actors you’ve probably never heard of, the only talented performance who gives this picture any redemption whatsoever comes from Wanda De Jesus.

Had she been paired with a much better cast delivering lines in a much better story, then perhaps we might have seen a movie that was at least mediocre.

Rick Gonzalez in Illegal Tender
Rick Gonzalez (left) in “Illegal Tender”.
Photo courtesy of IMDb

She’s a strong, single mom you don’t want to slight – for fear of getting gunned down, it turns out, from among her stashed arsenal in a basement safe her kids didn’t know about – and she has a brief stunt with a new boyfriend at a mature age.

That plot line ends up going nowhere fast, though, as the film proves her one and only man is her eldest son. That’s cute.

It’s also just as cute watching her slather together a sandwich just before whipping out dual hand canons and offing the bad guys who decide to come back for more after two decades.

My god, Franc Reyes: What were you thinking even attempting to direct this? You already pained us enough with “Empire”.

HollywoodChicago.com editor-in-chief Adam Fendelman


© 2007 Adam Fendelman, HollywoodChicago.com

Anonymous's picture

Wand is super sizzling

I thought the movie was quite good. IT was predictabl, yes, but aren’t they all?
At least it wasn’t the bullshit of the heroe navigating thru ahail of bullets being fired by top marksmen and never hitting the mark…YAWN and LAUGH.
Wanda De Jesus made the screen sizzle at every moment where she appeared.
That alone was woth the time watching. It would be worth many more times the time.
Wanda you are SOOOOO HOT.

Wish I had the oppeotunity to meet and date you.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter


HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions