The propulsive debut film from promising director-star Cassius Corrigan, Huracán is the story of an MMA fighter with a criminal past and a serious personality disorder, attempting to go pro while battling his demons. The foibles of traditional manhood and taboos of therapy go hand-in-hand as a result.
Corrigan’s film focuses on the perils of machismo and mental health in a situation often unwilling to offer help.
Corrigan, all handsomely angular face and quiet anguish, is convincing as Alonso, a young Latinx man seemingly floundering in the uncertainty of life in America as an ex-con. Drawing from the salt-of-the-earth redemptive tropes of classic boxing films, Corrigan offers some visual flair to familiar storytelling, employing a striking use of widescreen and perspective-swapping jumps across the audience line of vision. It’s also a deeply realistic film, extending to a menacing cameo from UFC champion Jorge Masvidal and reaching a brutal, blood-soaked conclusion in a major battle in the Octagon. The film also does well to spotlight the Latinx community of working-class South Florida, with an eye for details of language, culture and male rites of passage.
As Alonso bounces between institutions — from prison to therapy to the gauntlet of the mixed martial arts gym — with dogged persistence, there’s a pointed sense of the lack of options in his life and lives like his. Alonso is painted as neither monster nor victim, seeing male violence more as a fact of life than a pearl-clutching social problem. Corrigan’s film focuses on the perils of machismo and mental health in a situation — and a country — often unwilling to offer help unless you can help yourself first. So that's just what Alonso tries to do.