Endlessly spatting half-brothers get a ticket out of their hardscrabble rural existence after they catch the eye of a football talent scout. Tato a.k.a. Cursi (Gael García Bernal) becomes a kicker for a Mexico City team, while Beta a.k.a. Rudo (Diego Luna) gets a job as goalie for a rival team. Typically, trouble comes in the form of women, gambling and misplaced interests. (Tato really just wants to sing, and his dreadful music video is hilarious.)
Carlos Curaón directs his own screenplay, and the film is something of an old-home week for this young generation of Mexican actors and filmmakers: Cuarón also wrote 2001's Y Tu Mamá También, in which Bernal and Luna starred; and directors Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu are onboard as producers.
There's nary a surprise in this rags-to-riches saga, but it's all very lively -- with Bernal and Luna seeming to have a blast playing these broad, if likeable caricatures of country bumpkins fumbling with success. I can only imagine the colloquial language is far funnier in the native tongue. As it is here, many of the vulgarities have been translated to British slang, rendering the patois even clunkier to American ears. Still, "Gooooooooooooooooooooal!" needs no translation. In Spanish, with subtitles. Starts Fri., July 24. Squirrel Hill