CINCO DE MAYO (LA BATALLA) (2013) – Review

One legendary battle for freedom and for Mexico.


Rafa Lara‘s CINCO DE MAYO (LA BATALLA) is a long and rich epic about the fight for Mexico’s freedom under the French Empire. What’s impressive are the characters dressed in wonderful and detailed costumes that facilitate the story and highlight the time. The scene locations and sets bring the audience to the action, and watch in amazement as the characters make distinct allegiances and take their roles in the film seriously whether it is on the side of the Mexican Liberals or the established monarchy/the European powers. Full of action and education, Cinco de Mayo, is a film recommended for those interested in Mexican history or who want to see a good war film centered in an earlier time.
Cinco De Mayo © Copyright Pantelion Films 2013/Sandra Mayerstein

May 5, 1862 was the day Mexican opposition troops defeated the army of the French Empire in the state of Puebla. Considerably outnumbered and bankrupt, the Mexican Army led by Commander General Ignacio Zaragoza managed to defeat the French led by Charles de Lorencez. It is one of the most important days in Mexican history and helped to shape the fate of a nation. It is also worth noting the cast converses in three languages: French, English, and Spanish.

The acting roles are well performed. There is a triangle romance between three characters–Juan (Christian Vasquez), Artemio, and love interest Citali (Liz Gallardo)–that are not based on real people. However, the romance aspect help to show the effect the war has on personal relationships and humanize the conflict. The scenes of violence in this film can be rather intense in some areas and are reminiscent of those in the Saving Private Ryan film.

Cinco de Mayo for all its strong points does have one weakness–the shaky camera during the battle scenes. Perhaps this cinematic aspect intended to add tension and volatility in action. Aside from this detail, this is a film worth checking out not only for historical merit, enjoyment and education of past events, an event so crucial to Mexican history.

*Cinco de Mayo comes with an Ultraviolet code for streaming.

Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2013 of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 2 stars
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  • Last modified: 2013-11-15

Review Summary:

On May 5th, 1862, a few thousand Mexican soldiers put their lives on the line against the world's largest and most powerful army in one legendary battle for freedom and for Mexico.

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