Che, Part One

Director: Steven Soderbergh

The elephantine account by Steven Soderbergh of the rise and deification of revolutionary Ernesto (Che) Guevara ran a bladder-bursting four hours and 22 minutes in its theatrical version.

But it has been split into two for the DVD release.

The first and better section, The Argentine, begins with Guevara’s mid-1960s posturing at the U.N. before backtracking into the jungle warfare that led to victory alongside Fidel Castro in 1959.

The film reeks of authenticity but also self-indulgence.

A potentially great performance by Benicio Del Toro in the title role is buried beneath Soderbergh’s stylistic tics.

We never really get to know the man whose face launched a million T-shirts.