The fashion world of Paris is not ready for Luis (Luis Guzmán) and Eddie (Edgar Garcia), two NYPD detectives recruited by a fashion agency to track down a black market thief who’s stolen its latest handbag designs. Stumbling through the fashion shows, nightclubs and hipster cafes of Paris, these two strangers in a strange land must use their wits to track down the elusive thief and collect a large bounty that would change their lives back home. Co-starring Rosie Perez and Rosario Dawson, Puerto Ricans in Paris is a laugh-out-loud, fish-out-of-water comedy.
I’m not so sure about the title ‘Puerto Ricans in Paris‘, perhaps it's setting things up for a string of franchise films with similar names for his comedic duo, but Ian Edelman’s first directorial effort is a funny buddy cop film that leaves the big action beats on the back-burner and instead relies on the comedic genius and calm demeanor of its stars. Edelman created the HBO show ‘How to Make it in America‘ and brings along two of its stars in Luis Guzman and Edgar Garcia, who play Eddie and Luis respectively, two New York police undercover police officers who take down people and businesses making counterfeit handbags, clothing, and sunglasses. You know, most of you have been to New York and have paid less than $100 for a seemingly “REAL” Louis Vuitton handbag. Eddie and Luis are the guys that stop these people from making the counterfeits and passing them off as real.
This duo’s funny but unusual style has brought in a french businessman and his famous designer Colette (Alice Taglioni) to ask Eddie and Luis to travel to Paris and go undercover to catch the thieves that stole her upcoming new handbag for next season. The thieves sent a ransom note that if they don’t get paid by a certain time, they will make thousands of fake handbags, thus destroying the new line of upcoming high end purses. Eddie leaves his four kids and wife (Rosie Perez) at home after a failed anniversary attempt at romance, while Luis can’t seem to commit to his beautiful girlfriend (Rosario Dawson).
Once in Paris, let the good times role, as Luis tries to score with French women and try to catch the thieves. Again, this isn’t an action movie. There are no real car chases, gun shots, or explosions here. Rather than that usual trope, Edelman relies on Guzman to improv a ton of funny lines and dialogue, which we can see in the outtakes during the end credits. Edgar and Luis seem to have a fun time on screen, but Edgar seems a little too soft for the real dramatic moments, and the duo seems a little unbalanced at times. Still, his charming quiet ways are still endearing, while Luis’s comedy and brashness garner big laughs in every scene.
Taglioni turns in a good performance as well here, crossing between comedy and some more dramatic moments. It’s a shame that Dawson and Perez don’t have much screen time here, because their characters and scenes were some of the best in the film. I just hope that if a sequel to arise, those two actresses would come along for the journey. Edelman’s eye for Paris was beautiful and quaint, giving us the opposite of a tourist view, which was nice to see. ‘Puerto Ricans in Paris‘ is a light-hearted buddy cop comedy with solid performances and enough laughs to warrant a viewing.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Puerto Ricans in Paris' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc that is Region A Locked from Universal. There is an insert for a digital download code for the movie. The disc is housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
'Puerto Ricans in Paris' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The image is pristine and even though it was shot digitally, it doesn't have that digital look to it. The detail is vivid and sharp, especially in closeups that reveal individual hairs on the actor's faces, as well as the fine stitching in the costumes and handbags that are present throughout the film. Wider shots showcase the imperfections and dirt of the big cities easily.
Colors pop throughout, with a realistic tone, which is bold and striking at times, considering this film has to do with fashion. When the film moves to the Paris location, there are some scenes that have a gold tint to it, but it never really hinders the detail here. Black levels are deep and inky without any serious crush, and the skin tones are natural, even in the yellow tinted scenes. There was some very minor video noise, but that was the only issue that seemed to rear its head in this otherwise great video presentation.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 MA mix and does a decent job with a few of the bigger moments in the film. I wouldn't say this is an all-out action movie type of soundscape, but it certainly has some heft in a few scenes. The opening scene uses the full set of speakers in a foot-chase in New York City with ambient sounds coming from all directions of people and cars passing by. In the other bigger moments of the film, such as the club or bar scenes, the surround speakers get a decent work out.
Sound effects are impressive too, but never overly loud or really packing a punch. The music come alive during the club sequences, which is where the bass kicks into high gear too. Dialogue is always clear and easy to follow, even with the French accents. There were no pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills here, leaving this audio presentation with solid marks.
'Puerto Ricans in Paris' is a fresh and funny buddy cop film with heart and laughs. Luis Guzman is solid gold here, and the supporting cast delivers on all accounts. I wouldn't say this movie changes the game of any genre, but it's certainly entertaining and could very well be the start of a franchise. The video and audio presentations are both great, but there are literally NO extras here. I don't understand. With such a high price point at the moment, I cannot in good health recommend this release, since there are zero extras and not having perfect video and audio scores. Still, this is a worth a look!