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Review: Stunt double Zoe Bell stars in survival-thriller ‘Camino,’ which does its best to trip her up

Zoe Bell as war photographer Avery Taggert in "Camino."
(www.zoriah.com / XLrator Media)

Quentin Tarantino’s favorite stunt double, Zoe Bell, sturdily stands in for herself in “Camino,” an otherwise D-grade B-movie survival-thriller set in the jungles of Colombia circa 1985.

Bell plays an award-winning photojournalist dispatched by her editor (Kevin Pollak) to South America, with an assignment to shoot the charismatic El Guero (overly animated filmmaker-actor Nacho Vigalondo), the leader of a band of guerrilla “missionaries.”

But she’s soon forced to put down her camera when she’s framed for the savage murder of a young boy who in fact died at the hands of Vigalondo’s increasingly psychotic mercenary.

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Having previously done the heavy lifting for the likes of Uma Thurman, Lucy Lawless and Halle Berry, New Zealander Bell proves to be one tough cookie, but she’s ultimately taken down by all the stiff, under-developed dialogue and iffy supporting performances.

Although director Josh C. Waller, who also teamed with Bell on the 2013 exploitation film “Raze,” should have made a greater effort to play to his leading lady’s more sinewy strengths, her anticipated hand-to-hand encounters are ultimately beaten into submission by an irritating atonal score that constantly drowns any trace of nuance under an onslaught of shrill electronic sludge.

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‘Camino’

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No rating

Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood.


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