Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang

"Zipi y Zape y el club de la canica" is a 2014 Seattle International Film Festival entry from Spain (English captions). These rascally twins have a loyal following in Europe and I'm delighted we finally get a look at them. The thing that made it even better today was a surprise: Six local high schools sent Spanish classes to the screening. As we all know, when there are others in the audience, we tend to see the film through their eyes, and this film is absolutely PERFECT for teenagers! It has just enough rebellion, flirting, pranks, authoritarian villains and smart, decent kids to keep everyone happy and interested.

Exiled to a summer camp called "Hope" run by a one-eyed fellow named Falconetti, this is a strict re-education center for rascally teenagers, which dashes any hope for fun our two heroes might have had...until they form a Children's Resistance called the Marble Gang.

We see:
  • Javier Gutiérrez is Falconetti, he enforces a stern set of rules which forbid any fun; he has a heavy hand, an eyepatch and all things dreary.
  • Raúl Rivas is Zipi, he's the smart one, and he gets a crush on Matilde.
  • Daniel Cerezo is Zape, he's the devilish one, and Matilde gets a crush on HIM!
  • Claudia Vega is Matilde, Falconetti's niece. She doesn't like her uncle very much, but she really doesn't want to go home, either ...but she does like bad boys....
  • Fran Garcia is Filo, the standard pudgy guy who has trouble keeping up with the other four as they flee through those cobwebby tunnels. (Did I mention that this film has very broad stereotypes? They fit like a pair of comfortable old shoes.)
  • Marcos Ruiz is Micro, the nerd. No kids' movie would be complete without a skinny boy in thick glasses, wearing braces on his teeth and with a history of being bullied.
These kids are trying to solve the riddle of a map which promises the finder diamonds. They are all smart so this is a glorified scavenger hunt for teenagers, with greedy adults, a ferocious dog, trap doors and a high-wire hazard, all there to thwart them. Lotsa fun all around!