Picks and Pans Review: The Cisco Kid

updated 02/07/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/07/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

TNT (Sun., Feb. 6, 8 p.m. ET)


Here's a remake of an even older TV show: the classic '50s western that starred Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo. (The Cisco Kid was TV's first syndicated hit. That is, it was sold to individual stations, not a big network. Though filmed in color, the series was almost always shown in black and white during its original run.)

Actually this cable movie is something of a prequel, showing how Cisco (Jimmy Smits) and his sidekick, the paunchy Pancho (Cheech Marin), met.

The plot poses Cisco as a gunrunner who discovers a patriotic conscience during Mexico's battle in the late 1860s to unseat the French-backed Emperor Maximilian. Smits brings real flair to the role of the folk hero, dandy and senorita-killer. But where is Pancho's weapon of choice: the bullwhip? That's not the only change here. The two caballeros enjoy a much more equitable relationship than they have in the past. (The character of The Cisco Kid was introduced in an O. Henry story and had a long life on radio and in film.)

The action and stunt scenes are flat-out pedestrian, but the movie is still enjoyable for its salsafied flavor. Tim Tomerson, Bruce Payne and Sadie Frost costar. Olé!

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