El Cantante

By Gerald Aaron, September 4, 2008
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★★★✩✩ (15) Marc Antony acquits himself very well as increasingly drug-dependent salsa legend Hector Lavoe in director Leon Ichaso’s well made-biopic. But he, and everyone else, is ruthlessly upstaged by Jennifer Lopez who diva-heavy performance as Lavoe’s wife hogs centre-screen whenever possible. The seen-it-all-before storyline, which charts Puerto Rican-born Lavoe’s conquest of Manhattan, includes almost every cliché and formula of Hollywood musical biopics. It is to Ichaso’s credit that he deploys them — including that ancient standby of a lively montage of successes to delineate passage of time — with commendable efficiency. Lopez frames the story in a black-and-white interview and, even solo, mostly succeeds in overwhelming her material. But the music is magnificent.
    Last updated: 2:59pm, February 18 2011