With the Avengers taking up all of the superhero pop culture real estate of late, it s almost refreshing to come across a more small-scale tale of justice, particularly one as steeped in an underrepresented culture as El Chicano is. Unfortunately, critics say the effort is mostly wasted here. Raul Castillo stars as an LAPD detective on the trail of a cartel kingpin looking to expand into Los Angeles who, inspired by childhood tales of and a personal encounter with a mythical figure called El Chicano, decides to take on the persona to fight crime outside the law. While reviews tout Castillo s effective brooding, they also note that the film lacks nuance, with thinly drawn characters whose backstories feel perfunctory rather than enlightening. El Chicano is ultimately a dark, overly gritty crime procedural-cum-vigilante thriller that relies on cliche and fails to reach its ambitious goals, but it may still serve an audience hungry for something akin to a Latino Batman.