‘Campeonex’ repeats the formula for success in a very nice but predictable comedy


The premiere of ‘Campeones’ in 2018 was such an event for the national cinema that it remained for 12 weeks in the top 10 at the box office, going so far as to give the almighty ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ a pulse. Beyond the spectacular almost 20 million euros that it managed to raise and the awards (Forqué, Feroz and even the Goya for best film that it snatched from ‘El Reino’, by Rodrigo Sorogoyen), the role of the film was key in the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities, as well as their representation on the big screen. With a film of these characteristics, so gigantic at economic, political and entertainment levels, how do you make a sequel to it?


That should have been asked by Javier Fesser. The Madrid director has enough experience to not have to remember that he handles drama (‘Camino’) as well as comedy (‘The Great Adventure of Mortadelo and Filemón’), but in the latter he performs especially well, demonstrating a plasticity in his slapstick as accurate as his comic timing. The task to make a sequel of success size was arduous, so Fesser applied all his tables to build (with his successes and his mistakes). ‘Campeonex’, a repetition of the formula with genuine charm but with a short fuse.

This time, the Herculean mission of replacing Javier Gutiérrez (something completely impossible in itself), falls to the newcomer Elisa Hipólito, who does a solid job as the new coach of the basketball team ‘Los Amigos’, made up of practically the same members than the first movie. However, Fesser, wanting to distance himself from the predecessor, applies two differentiating keys to ‘Campeonex’: choose a pseudo-protagonist and change sports.


Although the cast remains very choral, this time much of the dramatic weight falls on Sergio Olmo since, due to an incident that he stars in at the beginning of the tape, the team will be harmed by his decision, leading to disaster. Two years later, Cecilia (Hipólito) mistakenly enrolls them in an athletics tournament, causing a change of sport in the team that will affect the dynamics between all of them.

Adorable comedy that shipwrecks

As with its predecessor, ‘Campeonex’ has that ‘Made in Fesser’ touch of absolutely adorable comedy, as good-natured and noble as its protagonists, but which also knows how to dot the i’s and influence lurid social issues. In this last aspect, perhaps because of the pioneering of ‘Campeones’, this continuation does not stand out as much, but it does do so by embracing totally captivating new signings. If in the first, Gutiérrez’s coach was a down-and-out guy who learned the meaning of humility, in this one, Hipólito’s coach wants to overcome recent traumas by feeling valid.


The curious thing, beyond the comic component that Hipólito’s character also has, is how well all the reflection against prejudice and self-improvement resonates in her. The film acquires an exacerbated positivism that infects all aspects, leading the sequel along almost the same paths as the original film, both for better and for worse, that is, a guaranteed feel-good movie but also terribly predictable. In this case, moreover, the intention of the last act is to turn towards the younger generations since, without revealing anything, the climax of the film simulates an event of the Professional Video Game League, broadcast through twitch and with a substitute for Ibai Llanos speaking his same slang.

Despite this embarrassing and extended finale that almost ruins and invalidates the first two acts, ‘Campeonex’ follows in the wake of the original success, repeating schemes, adding charismatic signings and introducing fresh air with important changes. The solvency of this solid sequel could foresee more continuations for the Fesser and company saga, despite the numerous international remakes that are in development and that demonstrate, once again, the universality of a story about representations and diversity.


The best: Fesser’s comedy continues to work like a charm. The changes introduced with respect to the original.

Worst: The formula is the same. The embarrassing third act.

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