A naive Canadian surfer (Josh Hutcherson) is drawn into the dangerous world of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (Benicio Del Toro).

Hutcherson is totally out of his depth after  he falls in love with local girl Maria (Claudia Traisac) in Medellin, Colombia, and belatedly discovers her seemingly philanthropic politician uncle’s real line of work.

Del Toro’s Escobar is so lethally charismatic that the viewer will probably feel director Andrea Di Stefano should be spending more time with him than with Hutcherson’s callow hero.

After Hutcherson’s innocent eyes are opened, the film does deliver a thrilling extended sequence of gut-tightening, sweaty-palmed suspense.

However, when you’ve caught your breath you’ll still think it might have been more rewarding to see Del Toro in a straightforward Escobar biopic.