“Centauro” offers a nice binge in the way it doesn’t complicate matters more than expected. It is one thing to have different plots in a single story and a whole different thing to complicate a simple story. The creators of “Centauro” keep things straight, and the film is better for it. With a runtime of 1 hour 29 minutes approx., you will not have to wait for something to happen next as the film takes you from one event to another quite easily. The story is also not bad and rather offers a nice twist. Overall, “Centauro” does establish its high-paced nature without being over the top.
Pro superbike racer Rafa (Àlex Monner) works at the docks. His wife Natalia (Begoña Vargas) lives separately with their son Mateo (Abraham Pérez) after Rafa left her when she was pregnant. However, when Rafa finds out that Natalia has been keeping drugs at home for money and that the drugs have been stolen, he has to do whatever the drug dealers ask him to in order to protect Natalia and their son. He has to become a drug courier for 2 months, after which the debt will be cleared, or so he is told. His friend Cortes (Dollar Semouni), who runs his own business, warns him about what he is doing, but Rafa ignores him. He struggles to manage his racing, job, and drug couriering. On the last day of his 2-month period, as he is about to leave, his boss Carlos’s (Édgar Vittorino) assistant Boro (Carlos Bardem) tells him that he can leave only when Carlos wants him to leave. In a rage, Rafa kills Boro and escapes with the money. He approaches Cortes, offering him the chance to take over Carlos’ business, and they chalk out a plan to kill Carlos. Rafa is almost compromised and killed, but thanks to Cortes, he survives while Carlos is killed. However, the trouble isn’t over it seems as a few days later, the police arrive at the race course just as Rafa is about to join a race, and take him into custody. They offer him the choice of working for them or going behind bars for serving the local drug lord. Rafa thus becomes a rider for the Central Narcotics Squad and is finally able to get a chance to clear his debt owed to himself.
For a storyline like this, it is not unusual to think that Rafa would end up dead while trying to do the right thing. But “Centauro” turns things for the better. Rather than putting Rafa behind bars, which would be “justice served,” the film gives him a noble purpose. It might be the film’s way of giving him a second chance, since whatever he did was to protect his family after all.
Technically speaking, the film could have had more of the bike sequences, especially when Rafa is speeding with cops after him. For a film whose main character is a pro racer, some POV shots of him maneuvering through vehicles and narrow streets always add to the thrill of a ride as well as establish his skill as a rider. The characters are different, and there is no need to question the differences between Rafa and Natalia. The presence of the child doesn’t add any weight to the whole matter. It could have, if only there was more risk and danger added to the plot. But the film does not demand this either. Director Daniel Calparsoro keeps things easily understandable and offers an overall good watch.
“Centauro” is a 2022 crime thriller directed by Daniel Calparsoro and is available exclusively on Netflix.