It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
From the beginning, it sounded like a bad dream. Hollywood was making a movie about Che Guevera. Why? Probably because somebody smelled easy money, having been inspired by the sales figures on Che posters. That must have been the reason, because "Che!" is abundant evidence that no one connected with this stinkeroo gave a damn about Che Guevera, Fidel Castro, the Cuban Revolution or anything else requiring more than five seconds' thought.
The most we could have hoped for, I guess, was a movie exhibiting some interest in the most influential revolution of the 1960s. The least would have been a movie that cared enough, anyway, to attack Guevera and provide some juicy propaganda. But all we get is a movie that's literally indifferent. It is impossible to determine what the film's makers thought about Guevera, if anything. The movie's dominant quality is gutlessness.
No attempt is made to get inside the mind of this complex man, Guevera. We are told he was a medical student, suffered from asthma, was more ruthless than Castro, was the real brain behind the operation. Big deal. Castro is presented as a pretty nice guy, taking the soft line with the Russians during the missile crisis, getting worried about nuclear war. The Bay of Pigs is skipped over. The corruption of the Batista regime all took place, apparently, on some other island. The dramatic level aspires toward comic strips.
Director Richard Fleischer (last outing: "Dr. Dolittle") is careful never to take a stand. He uses a pseudo-objective newsreel technique to present opinions from people who "knew" Che. First we get a Cuban teacher saying a few good words and then a Cuban ex-patriot saying a few bad words and then a clip of Adlai Stevenson on TV. The very method of the "Interviews" is patently phony. At one point, an actor looks straight into the 35 mm Panavision lens, color by DeLuxe, and says: "Don't let anyone know I told you this."