Nueba Yol 3: Bajo la Nueva Ley

on October 31, 1997 by Jose Martinez
   For fans of 1996's surprise hit "Nueba Yol" (which grossed $1.4 million domestically playing in limited markets), don't be alarmed thinking you missed part two. Believing sequels are never any good, director Angel Muniz has opted to title the second installment of his story about a Dominican immigrant as Part Three.
   Once again Luisito Marti is playing Balbuena, a warm, likable "honest, hard-worker" looking for a better life. Picking up where the first film left off, Balbuena has recovered from a gunshot wound and is struggling to support himself and take care of his landlady who was also injured when he was robbed. An added obstacle this time is a new government immigration law that will cut off social security and Medicare to thousand of immigrants. (The film's subtitle translates to "Under the New Law," and "Nueba Yol" is a slang term for New York.) With the help of his scheming friend Fellito (Raul Carbonel), Balbuena enters into a fake marriage so that he can remain in the country before "Black Tuesday." What ensues are several comedic moments. One particularly funny scene finds Balbuena catching someone selling pirated videotapes on a street corner and running him off (the first film was victim to illegal tapes sold throughout New York.)
   Although very funny, the film does suffer from some heavy-handed observations about immigration. There are no grays in this film--director Muniz lets us know who are the good and bad guys: the social worker who pretends not to speak Spanish until she is insulted is a perfect example. The film's saving grace is Marti's portrayal as Balbuena. He offers a genuine likability on screen, grabbing interest with whatever mishaps he gets into. Although the film is in Spanish and deals with the topic of immigration, it should not be lost on a "mainstream" audience.    Starring Luisito Marti, Raul Carbonell, Graciela Mas. Directed, written and produced by Angel Muniz. A New Latin Pictures release. Comedy. Not rated. Spanish language; English subtitles. Running time: 102 min.
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