Illegal Tender 

Reviewer's grade: B
This unassuming genre film about a mom and her two sons defending themselves against an evil coming at them from 20 years ago is pretty effective and a lot more realistic than pictures of this kind usually are.

Wanda De Jesus is terrific as Millie De Leon, and Rick Gonzalez, as college-aged son Wilson, would have a breakout performance here, in a fair world.

I liked the fact that when Wilson realizes that he isn't strong or tough enough alone to fight off a string of shooters sent by a Puerto Rican gangster to kill his family, he accepts help from the only person he knows who has the know-how and the guts: his mother.

No, it's not intended to be a parody of genre conventions. It only looks that way on paper. Writer/director Franc. Reyes and cast deliver it straight and it doesn't take long to see that this is the way it all has to play out. R

"?Doug Bentin   

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