Torrente, el brazo tonto de la ley

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Torrente, el brazo tonto de la ley
Torrente 1 dvd cover.jpg
Directed by Santiago Segura
Produced by Andrés Vicente Gómez
Written by Santiago Segura
Starring Santiago Segura
Javier Bardem
Javier Cámara
Tony Leblanc
Neus Asensi
Cinematography Carles Gusi
Edited by Fidel Collados
Release dates 1998
Running time 97 min.
Language Spanish
Budget 280,000,000 PST
Box office 1.500.000.000 PST

Torrente, el brazo tonto de la ley is a 1998 Spanish dark comedy written, directed and starred by Santiago Segura. Also stars Javier Bardem, Javier Cámara, Neus Asensi and Tony Leblanc.


José Luis Torrente is a lazy, rude, drunkard, sexist, racist, right-wing Madrid cop who lives in a decrepit apartment in a slum neighbourhood with his wheelchair-bound father, whose disability checks are Torrente's only real income.

One day, a new family of neighbours which owns and operates a fish store moves into the apartment below Torrente's and he becomes attracted to the young, nymphomaniac niece of the family, Amparo. In order to get close to her, he befriends her nerdy weapon enthusiast cousin, Rafi, by taking him to target practice and on his nightly patrol rounds through the neighbourhood. During their patrols, Torrente begins to suspect that criminal activity is occurring in the new local Chinese restaurant. His suspicions are confirmed when his father accidentally overdoses after eating a stolen food roll which was filled with packets of heroin. Torrente decides to crack the drug ring in order to regain his former status within the Police Force.

Simultaneously, Torrente successfully attempts to seduce Amparo, who has sex with him after his father's overdose. Amparo's aunt, Reme, misreads her relationship with Torrente and believes that they are engaged.

Torrente and Rafi sneak into the restaurant at night and witness El Francés, the underboss of the drug trafficking outfit run by a mobster named Mendoza, torturing and executing a delivery boy named Wang, who had lost a shipment of the heroin (which in reality was unwittingly taken by Torrente's father) and they overhear that the outfit will soon be receiving a major drug shipment from a mobster known as Farelli. The pair accidentally make their presence known and flee the restaurant on Rafi's fish delivery van while being chased by armed delivery boys.

Torrente enlists the help of Rafi's equally nerdy friends: Malaguita, a martial artist, Bombilla, an electronics expert, and Toneti, a James Bond aficionado. The crew picks up Torrente's father from the hospital (while drunk) and then prepare a reconnaissance mission to discover the location of the drug deal. Toneti goes to the Chinese restaurant while wearing a wire but quickly blows his cover and winds up revealing Torrente's name to El Francés before trying to escape through a window and falling to his death.

El Francés and some of his goons raid Torrente's apartment but are attacked by Torrente's father, who wields a taser and some pliers, before the father suffers a heart attack and plummets down a flight of stairs. Nonetheless, they kidnap Amparo when she arrived to the apartment looking for Torrente.

After discovering his father's death and Amparo's kidnapping, Torrente becomes despondent but soon after Lio-Chii, Wang's girlfriend and a waitress at the Chinese restaurant who had once waited on a drunken Torrente, arrives and reveals the location of the drug deal, claiming she wants revenge for her boyfriend's death.

Torrente, Rafi, Malaguita, Bombilla, Lio-Chii and Torrente's friend and informant Carlitos head over to the drug deal on an old warehouse outside town. The crew plan a very complex plot to bring down the deal and take the 50 million pesetas that Mendoza brought but the plan goes raw from the start when Bombita accidentally blows himself and Farelli up with a bomb he'd set up as a distraction. Farelli's men and Mendoza's men begin shooting at each other and in the aftermath, most of the mobsters and Carlitos end up dead. Torrente guns down El Francés and ends up getting shot in the stomach himself, while Rafi goes to rescue Amparo (who had been providing oral service to Mendoza's men in a back room). Rafi gets cornered by Mendoza but he's rescued when Lio-Chii shoots him in the back.

In the aftermath of the shootout, Rafi and Malaguita get congratulated by police commissioner Cayetano for helping in bringing down one of the most vicious local drug rings and Rafi begins a relationship with Lio-Chii. Torrente gets taken away on an ambulance for his wounds. Cayetano sweeps the scene and discovers that the money is gone. In the ambulance speeding away, Torrente bribes the ambulance drivers (played by the comedy duo Faemino y Cansado) and flees to Torremolinos with the 50 million pesetas that he swiped while no one was watching.


Production Location[edit]

Released Dates[edit]

  • Spain – 13 March 1998
  • Portugal – February 1999
  • France – 21 April 1999
  • Hungary – 22 April 1999
  • Argentina – 3 June 1999
  • Iceland – 19 November 1999

External links[edit]