It’s summer, time for rest and travel to exotic places, or expensive cruises on huge ships with all kinds of entertainment, like the one where this 2018 movie, Yucatán, takes place.
An entertaining crime comedy with Spanish heart and soul, about friendship, love and betrayal between the three main protagonists.
It all begins with Clayderman and his gorgeous partner Verónica, who work as a pianist and singer aboard the luxurious MS Sovereign.
However, music doesn’t pay as well as scams, so to get some nice extra cash, they target the richest and dumbest customers to screw them over.
To disrupt their gilded world comes, or rather returns, their old friend Lucas, a former associate in their crimes and once also Verónica’s lover, who tells that he wants to win her back.
Although intrigued by his passion and seduction, the girl is not exactly happy to see him again because, at their last reunion, a scam ended very badly for all of them.
Obviously jealous of his sexy wife, Clayderman doesn’t believe a word Lucas says, and it doesn’t take him long to discover his goal is actually quite different than getting his ex-woman back.
Indeed, joining the latest passenger load is naive old Antonio, a baker from Madrid who recently won 160 million euros in the lottery.
Accompanied by his large and troublesome family, the old gentleman becomes the target of Clayderman’s and Lucas’s intersecting conspiracies, obviously wishing to steal as much of his wealthy prize money as possible.
Moreover, after quarreling with both men, Verónica also decides to get into the game on her own, successfully getting one of Antonio’s daughters to marry his accomplice Brendon.
Amid this all against all with no rules, the situation soon degenerates into chaos and total madness.
The total is greater than all parts
Taking every single aspect of Yucatán on its own, this 2018 movie has nothing particularly unique or mind-blowing.
Daniel Monzón‘s direction serves the purpose of accompanying the screenplay, which he co-wrote with Jorge Guerricaechevarría.
There weren’t any particular ideas in the editing or shots making people scream for a miracle, just as the story and character outline follows a fairly predictable course.
Nevertheless, the director succeeds in creating a believable yet imaginative sailing ecosystem that is always on the comic mark and stays interesting as the plot unfolds.
The characters always have the appropriate line at the right time, rehashing clichés we’ve seen many times before. Still, maybe that’s the point: if numerous screenwriters keep writing stories like this, it means they work.
Overall, each figure on the ship has a moment of naïve stupidity, and, at the same time, they find space to be brave and rise in cunning above the others.
Of course, the heart of the movie lies in the con man duel of Rodrigo de la Serna, the charming but irritable Clayderman, against the equally daring Luis Tosar as the darker and more mysterious Lucas.
At the center of the pair is the radiant beauty of Stephanie Cayo, the sexy singer Verónica who is the only one capable of distracting these thieves from their criminal intentions.
Adding further charm to the mix, many of the story’s most important moments have musical breaks intercut with this love triangle, offering several famous Spanish hits such as Tonino Carotone‘s Me cargo en el amor, which marks Lucas’ spectacular entrance.
In short, there are lots of laughs, plenty of sentiment for everyone, and several moments of folk and family wisdom: I’d say nothing is missing, right?
The strange faces of cheerful Spanish comedy
Besides everything, what undoubtedly works perfectly is the cast, with many faces probably unknown to the general public, far from the glamourous Hollywood.
Yet they all do their honest, solid work beginning with Rodrigo de la Serna, the smooth-talking con man with the unstoppable speech and the old-timey Clayderman mustache.
A man seemingly solid and confident and always hiding a new plan to trick the unfortunate man’s money.
Yet, along comes old friend Lucas, played by the equally charming Luis Tosar, out of nowhere to challenge his patience and test his skill as a con man with the two former partners who are now against each other.
Lucas prefers to act less spectacularly, conning his victims through their temptations and psychological weaknesses, but he may be aiming too high when he also tries to fool his beautiful ex-girlfriend Verónica.
A girl with the gorgeous face and feminine curves of Stephanie Cayo, who perhaps at first seems like a tennis ball bouncing between Lucas and Clayderman but later gets fed up with both and comes out as a skilled con artist.
Indeed, after proposing to both of them to drop the heist and retire to live in Mexico, the singer begins a plan of her own with the help of dancer Brendon, played by basketball player Adrián Núñez, who is in on the joke of this gay cheerful guy trying to win over Antonio’s sweet daughter, the elder man they all want to con.
Antonio is the one who ends up, without a doubt, being the best and most interesting character, with the tired and wise face of the excellent actor Joan Pera.
As the only honest man on the whole ship, he will be the one to awaken the conscience and honor of all the other characters.