Wanting to give his family a better life, Miguel (Michael Pena) goes through the desert to cross the Arizona-Mexican border. His goal is to find a job where he can save enough money to bring his wife and kids over the border to live with him. While out in the desert Miguel is able to cross the border but as soon as he does he finds himself in a huge amount of trouble. When Olivia (played by Amy Madigan) dies from some kids shooting at Miguel and his traveling companion, it's Miguel that is being sought for her death. Olivia's husband and ex-sheriff, Roy (played by Ed Harris) will stop at nothing to find Miguel and bring him to justice for the murder of his wife.
While reading the description about his movie I thought it was going to be good, especially with having the two actors Ed Harris and Michael Pena in it, but this movie is far from being good. It takes nearly an hour for anything to happen in this movie and when finally does I was already bored enough to not really care. There are so many problems with Frontera that I'm wondering how it was actually filmed. Along with it being boring, nothing happening, it taking too long to get anywhere, it also puts in other story lines that shouldn't ever been put in.
First problem and the one that sets the mood of this movie is the slow progression of the story. What should have been told in the first 10 minutes takes nearly an hour. In that very long time that it takes to tell that Miguel is in trouble for a crime he didn't commit all that is shown is a lot of walking, some talking about water, some more walking, and lots of being bored. If this movie had been timed out right it would have helped a long way in making it interesting because the idea for it is decent, and there is potential in the movie, it's just executed in a very slow and boring way.
Another problem, a huge one in fact, is the missing parts. What parts do I mean? Well, like how Jose (played by Michael Ray Escamilla), he's the guy that crosses the border with Miguel, is first shown to look like he's not a nice guy, then he's made to be stupid, but the missing parts with him is when he splits from Miguel but the next time you see him is with a group of guys robbing a house in the middle of a neighborhood. When did he meet these guys, how did he meet them, what's the point of this scene at all? Then there's another plot point when Miguel calls his wife Paulina (played by Eva Longoria) to tell her he was in jail, she gets kidnapped and it seems like we are going to get a story that's about her but then it's dropped like it's nothing.
This whole movie has too much going on in it yet never any clear showing of point A to point B. It's just a loose story that has different stories in it that's poorly told. The only saving grace of this movie is done because of the acting of Michael Pena and Ed Harris. Though it's primarily Pena that is on the screen and is the one that has the most acing to be done and he does it well. He made his character of Miguel believable as a good man willing to work hard to give his family a good life. While Ed Harris is also good in this, his character is no more than a retired officer who is gruff. He does this well, he has that look and is a gruff ex-sheriff but he don't do much in the movie. His character should had a huge roll in getting Miguel and then piecing everything together, but like everything else in this movie, his characters story is built up then just dropped. This movie tries, it really does, but it gets lost in itself.