An American movie about the ‘war on drugs’. This can only be a patriotic commercial for the US policy of 2,5 hour, right? Well, this is mostly what “Traffic” is.
As it seems to have to nowadays, there are different stories that either or not come together at some point. We have the brandnew highest official on the war on drugs judge Robert Hudson (Michael Douglas) whose daughter Caroline (Erika Christensen) starts to experiment with drugs and eventually becomes addicted. Two American policemen Ray Castro (Luis Guzman) and Montel Gordon (Don Cheadle) catch the drug-dealer Eduardo Ruiz (Miguel Ferrer) and make him chief witness against his boss, but this gives a lot of problems. Then we have Helena Alaya (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who didn’t know that her husband was this big boss until he was caught. First she fights the thought of her husband being a major criminal, but after getting threatened herself, she decides to take over his work. Then we have a Mexican police officer Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) who walks the thin line between corrupsy and under-cover working while he starts to work for General Ralph Landry (James Brolin) who also to Hudson claims to be on a war on drugs, while he is actually on war with his competition.
So, the idea was to show different stories of people involved with the drugs-problem. An addict, the parents, policemen from both sides of the border, their officials, jurisdiction, the dealers, their leaders and the war between the gang. Too obviously this is used to ‘advertise’ the money-devouring war on drugs of the USA.
BUT, there is a good thing about this film, which is the artistic value. The different stories are shot in different colours, Douglas’ story is blue, the criminals in yellow, etc. which is a nice idea. Also there are some nice camera-points, wonderfull over-lighting, and long silent shots from helicopters or a car. However the film could have been half an hour shorter, the silent scenes sure add something to the whole film.
All in all this is just a nice film by the director of the wonderfull “The Limey” and the flabby comedy that I haven’t seen “Erin Brockovich” and “Ocean’s Eleven” that -if I remember correctly- still shows in the local cinemas.