If, in some magical land, you combined a Disney Channel original movie with low-grade assault and battery, you would end up with a comedy. That magical land is Panama and the film is Chance. The González-Dubois family enjoys a lavish yet hollow lifestyle: Cue the shopaholic mother, the aspiring-politician dad, the bratty kids. Behind this opulence are the house maids, Paquita (Aida Morales) and Toña (Rosa Isabel Lorenzo), who suffer abuse for low wages. When the family starts withholding pay, the film takes a wacky turn, with the maids holding their employers ransom. But even Chance’s slapstick antics aren’t very funny; some, like when one character has his teeth punched out by an eight ball, are just unsettling. And as the film juggles escalating demands and violence, it fails to humanize its initial caricatures. Sure, there are some learning moments for the González-Dubois clan, but director Abner Benaim seems far more interested in giving rich people their comeuppance. One saving grace: the shot of Paquita and Toña wielding shotguns and swords in high-quality evening wear.
At 6:30 p.m.; also on Friday, April 15 at 9 p.m. Both showings at E Street Cinema.