“Lowriders,” set primarily in Boyle Heights and occasionally Elysian Park, shows how car culture has influenced the predominantly Latino community.
Although you see some hydraulic car action throughout the film, the movie focuses on young graffiti artist Danny (Gabriel Chavarria) who is caught in a dilemma between his father Miguel (Demián Bichir) and his brother Ghost (Theo Rossi).
Miguel is deeply involved with lowriders, mainly with his Chevy Impala known as “Green Poison” that he spends most of his time with. There was a lack of lowriding in the movie and there should have been more. The characters decorate their lowriders more than actually riding in them.
Miguel and Ghost had a confusing falling out when Danny was just a baby that wasn’t mentioned clearly in the movie. Danny has always maintained a close relationship with his dad because his brother has been locked up for many years.
Ghost finally gets out after a lengthy prison sentence, putting Danny in a difficult position. It also wasn’t explained why he got locked up in the first place. Danny is torn between who he should be more loyal to. His loyalties seemed to be with his brother when he decided to stay with him after a fight with his dad.
This gives the brothers the opportunity to get back at their dad by showing up to the major annual lowrider competition.
Tension grew between the older brother and the dad when they showed off their impressive painted hood murals. Miguel won the competition leaving Ghost feeling more isolated than ever.
Another character in the movie was hip photographer (Melissa Benoist), Danny’s love interest. She seemed more interested in his “street cred” artistic abilities than him.
Eva Longoria, who plays Miguel’s wife, does little in the movie except be supportive of her husband and sons, leaving much to desire from her character.
Overall, “Lowriders” was successful in bringing the family dynamic back to the screen, but needed more lowriding!