Zoe Bell, probably the most famous living stunt-woman thanks to Quentin Tarantino making her a co-star of “Grindhouse” and “The Hateful Eight,” takes her shot at leading lady in “Camino,” a chase-through-the-jungle B-picture set in revolutionary Latin America.
It’s a simple , if clumsy and obvious and unsatisfying story tailor-made to play to her strengths. She fights, she tumbles, she climbs and she runs like a Warrior Princess (The Kiwi Bell got her start doubling as Xena).
Bell is Avery Taggart, an award-winning combat photographer who has always put the job first. Still, she’s a little leery of her latest assignment. Her editor (Kevin Pollack) sends her into the jungles of Colombia, embedded with some do-gooder guerrillas led the cagey, cocky Guillermo (Nacho Vigalando). They provide medical help to remote villagers. They say.
But this coed-band of Robin Hoods do so armed to the teeth. They need to know Avery is down with their mission.
“I’m a woman without government,” she declares. “The camera sees what it sees. Nothing less, nothing more.”
But her camera sees something it shouldn’t. And before you can say “Saw THAT coming,” she’s on the run, hunted down by people more acclimated and better armed than she is. It’s just that we’ve all seen she’s a bit of a fitness nut. She’s built like a tougher Ronda Rousey. And she’s Zoe Bloody Bell. Bad news for the guerrillas.
The fights don’t defy the laws of physics and Bell makes us believe the terror Avery must overcome and that she has the cunning to fight back, fight and win, fight and kill.
Flashbacks — hallucinating about her love life, black and white stills of her previous assignments — dot the narrative.
But the story is trite and the dialogue hackneyed in the extreme. You just know that every time one of the fighters has her down, he or she is going to make a speech in “Hollywood Mexican Villain” Spanglish.
“I am goink to KEEL joo now, slow and painful.”
And then he doesn’t. Whoops. Spoiler alert?
MPAA Rating: unrated, with graphic violence, sexual situations
Running time: 1:44