Togo review: Gritty flick falls short of several punches

Togo follows a homeless car attendant contending with the rising number of narcos in the proximity. He must now stand up against the drug dealers to keep his neighbourhood and his livelihood safe.


Togo is an old homeless man who makes a livelihood by attending to parked cars. Milton, his friend and colleague, works at the adjacent block and is wheelchair-ridden.

Blocks not too distant from theirs have recently been witnessing a rise in violence, thanks to the growing drug dealing business. The narcos hire young homeless boys who deal drugs locally and when they err, they get shanked.

Meanwhile, a young girl named Mercedes, who’s fled from a rich household, insists on staying homeless and working the same job as Togo.

He isn’t too keen on this insistence but eventually starts to show her the ropes of car parking/attending. Mercedes starts to put sincerity into the work but every now and then returns to her house to sleep.

The narcos get closer and eventually try to pressure the old man and Milton to either join them or leave their blocks. Togo doesn’t budge, even when their boss comes and tries to reason with him, but Milton eventually has to leave his block after their rough him up.

The showdown ensues and the titular badass, who also frequently checks up on her daughter in rehab (about the exact same age as Mercedes), knocks the two lackeys trying to scare him off his block.

A guy from the upper echelons of the gang comes and warns the old man, who still relents in his bravery. Following this, the gang sends two men to shoot and burn their homeless nemesis, however, he successfully evades their attack.

It’s time for him to take the step and put his former boxing skills to use. After sending Mercedes to her home, Togo squares up on the young fools, makes quick work of them, and then heads off to deal with the boss.

Several gashes, bruises, and cuts later, the persistent and tough-as-a-rock car attendant successfully fends off the narcos.

Having defended his block and maintained peace for his neighbourhood and community, he buys a home for himself and his daughter and resumes his work with an ever-watchful eye.


Togo has a slew of competent actors putting in a commendable job. For a film that feels very low-key, the performances elevate the material.

Although there isn’t much of a range of emotions to be conveyed, Diego Alonso makes it work and portrays the gruff, tough, and weathered boxer with great success.


This urban crime drama’s strength lies in the gritty scenes and when those moments of action arrive, the anxiety and the heightened drama can feel palpable.

The no-nonsense nature of the central protagonist is also carried out by the narrative and the plot flow. There’s not too much clutter or moments that feel unnecessary, nor do the scenes drag out for too long, thanks to an appropriate runtime.


Some technically unsound visual elements can feel a bit iffy, especially of note in the scene where the two main characters converse in front of a car while the camera is placed on the backseat.

The fluctuations in the exposure feel a bit questionable for a Netflix project, but due to the isolated and transient nature of this technical error, it doesn’t ruin the overall text of the film in a meaningful way.

The gritty parts often suffer due to a lack of a punch and the fight scenes could have been better with some clarity while filming and on the cutting room floor.


Togo is a gritty urban crime drama that features a warm, albeit insufficiently fleshed-out relationship amidst a bigger narrative.

A lone, limping homeless man against the territory-hogging drug dealers makes for a good plot but the film suffers from committing to the violence and the grit completely.

Togo review: Gritty flick falls short of several punches 1

Director: Israel Adrían Caetano

Date Created: 2022-10-05 12:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Togo ending explained: Does Togo successfully defend his turf?

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