Cartels (2017)

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Cartels (2017)

Cartels (2017)

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Title and Year of Release  

"Cartels," released in 2017, is an action-packed film that delves into the dangerous and complex world of drug trafficking. Directed by Keoni Waxman, this movie, also known as "Killing Salazar," intertwines elements of action, crime, and thriller genres.

Its release in 2017 came at a time when the global film audience had a sustained interest in crime dramas and action movies, particularly those revolving around drug cartels and covert operations.


Set against a backdrop of international drug trade and law enforcement efforts to combat it, "Cartels" offers a narrative filled with suspense, betrayal, and high-stakes confrontations.

The timing of its release capitalized on the public's fascination with the clandestine operations and the moral ambiguities surrounding the war on drugs.


Directed by Keoni Waxman, "Cartels" reflects his experience and expertise in creating action and crime films. Waxman, known for his work in the genre, brings a sense of authenticity and intensity to the storytelling.

His direction in "Cartels" is characterized by fast-paced action sequences and a focus on the gritty realities of drug trafficking and law enforcement.


Waxman's directorial style is notable for its emphasis on high-octane action and tension-filled scenes. He successfully crafts a narrative that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, delving into the complexities of the drug trade and the ethical dilemmas faced by those involved in combating it.

Genre of the Film 

"Cartels" fits within the genres of action and crime thriller. The film offers a combination of intense action sequences, strategic confrontations, and a complex narrative typical of crime thrillers.

This genre blend appeals to audiences who enjoy fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping films that also provide a glimpse into the dark and often morally ambiguous world of crime and law enforcement.


The film’s action-oriented approach is complemented by elements of suspense and intrigue, keeping viewers engaged as the plot unfolds.

The crime thriller aspect adds depth to the storyline, exploring themes such as loyalty, betrayal, and the cost of justice in the war against drug cartels.

Plot and Themes 

"Cartels" follows a team of DEA agents led by Major Tom Jensen (played by Luke Goss) as they embark on a mission to protect a high-value witness, Salazar, a notorious cartel leader.

As the team navigates various threats and betrayals, they must uncover the truth behind Salazar's willingness to testify against his former cartel associates.

The film explores themes of corruption, loyalty, and the blurred lines between right and wrong in the war on drugs.

It delves into the complexities and dangers of undercover operations, highlighting the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in their fight against powerful and ruthless drug cartels.


"Cartels" also examines the moral ambiguities and personal dilemmas faced by the characters, especially as they confront the reality that in the world of covert operations and drug trafficking, allies can quickly turn into enemies.

Cinematography and Visual Effects 

The cinematography in "Cartels" is characterized by dynamic and kinetic visuals, which are crucial in crafting the film’s intense action scenes.

The camera work effectively captures the fast-paced and dangerous nature of the characters' world, immersing viewers in the high-stakes environment of drug enforcement and cartel operations.

Visual effects in "Cartels" are utilized to enhance the action sequences, adding to the film's overall impact and excitement.

The effects are integrated seamlessly, ensuring that the focus remains on the story and the characters’ experiences.

Character Development  

In "Cartels," character development focuses on Major Tom Jensen and his team as they navigate the treacherous landscape of their mission.

Jensen, as the protagonist, is portrayed as a skilled and dedicated DEA agent whose commitment to his duty is tested throughout the film. His character arc explores the personal cost of such dangerous missions and the impact on one's moral compass.


The development of Salazar’s character adds complexity to the narrative, as his motivations and true intentions are gradually revealed. Supporting characters, including DEA agents and cartel members, are portrayed with depth, each contributing to the film's exploration of loyalty and betrayal.


"Cartels" is a gripping action-crime thriller that offers an intense and thrilling exploration of the world of drug cartels and the efforts to combat them. Director Keoni Waxman successfully combines action-packed sequences with a compelling narrative, making the film a solid addition to the genre.


The film’s exploration of themes such as corruption, loyalty, and the cost of justice in the war on drugs adds depth to its action-oriented plot. The characters are well-developed, and their personal dilemmas and moral conflicts enrich the story. The cinematography and visual effects contribute significantly to the film's immersive and high-stakes atmosphere.