Writer-director Rashaad Ernesto Green makes a promising debut with “Gun Hill Road,” an uneven but affecting drama. An east coast variation on last year’s “La Mission,” it gives homophobes and homophiles alike someone to cheer for.
Latinos disappointed by their children’s sexual orientation will relate to Enrique, Esai Morales’ character, to some extent, but God help their kids if they see him as a hero.
While Benjamin Bratt just had a gay son to deal with in “La Mission,” Enrique gets out of prison, discovers his son Michael is becoming his daughter Vanessa, and goes predictably ballistic.
Transgender actress Harmony Santana hits the right emotional notes in addition to pulling off the more obvious aspects of the role.
Good moments alternate with those that are excessively melodramatic in “Gun Hill Road.” The question is how much harm Enrique can do before his temper, attitude and criminal tendencies put him back where he can’t hurt his family.
“Gun Hill Road” opened yesterday at the United Taras Cinemas 4.