Action thriller film “Centauro” pits a semi-professional motorcycle racer in Spain with aspirations of going pro against a ruthless gang of drug dealers amidst protests for a Catalonian state in Barcelona. While the majority of the film’s plot and narrative is simplistic and quite plain, where it makes up is in the fast-paced action and bike sequences. Overall, “Centauro” is not too disappointing and is rather an exciting watch, mainly owing to the scenes on the road and on racing circuits.
‘Centauro’ Plot Summary
Rafa is introduced as a regular participant in the lower semi-professional motorcycle racing competitions, but with high hopes of one day competing at the highest level of the sport. The young man seems to have a tough patch of luck, though, as he loses out on a race win due to his bike’s durability failure after sensationally taking the lead from the back of the grid. Right after the race, he is approached by a woman named Regina, who offers Rafa the chance to race for her team, Monlau. Knowing that the team is far better than the one he currently rides for, Rafa agrees to join them and prepares for months of off-season testing. When not racing or practicing on circuits, the man has a job as a crane-operator in the ports of Barcelona; a job that he is forced to do because only motor-racing still does not earn him much money. His family life is introduced soon, as Rafa is now in separation with his young partner, Natalia, despite him being in love with her and wanting to be back together. Their son, Mateo, seems to love spending time with his father in his garage-turned basement-like apartment, and Rafa, too, is extremely fond of his son. One day, upon visiting his wife’s apartment, Rafa finds her beaten up and the place heavily trashed. Confused and concerned, he asks Natalia what has happened and finds out that the woman, who also struggles to make ends meet, especially with their son, has gotten involved in drug smuggling. She had stashed drugs worth two hundred thousand euros in her house for some gang, and the drugs had been robbed from her. The men to whom the drug belonged, had threatened to beat her up even more if she did not return it within a week. Despite knowing better than to get mixed up in drug dealing, Rafa has no option but to protect his partner and son. Giving them shelter in his own apartment, Rafa tracks down the drug dealers with the help of his friend Cortes and arranges a meeting with them. Meeting with the drug lord, Carlos, and trying to cut out a solution to help his girlfriend, Rafa agrees to a crooked plan that would have him smuggle drugs on his motorbike over the highway for two months. In exchange, Carlos promises that Natalia will be left alone.
How Does Rafa Make Use Of His Riding Skills In This Illegal Endeavour?
Carlos makes it clear that due to the violent protests taking place almost every night in Barcelona and its surrounding areas, the local drug supply chain has been disrupted, resulting in him having to buy cocaine from French sellers in Marseille. He now wants the drugs to be delivered from Marseille port to his shop in Barcelona within an almost impossibly short duration of two hours, and appoints Rafa to do this job, making use of his biking skills. The first time that Rafa runs the route, he is driven over to Marseille, given the drugs and the bike, and informed about what exactly he has to do, crossing over the international border without stopping, as tolls for his bike would be automatically paid. He would then have to meet the drug gang’s men, who would refill his bike’s tank without the hassle of him having to visit a petrol station. Rafa would be timed throughout the whole mission and also followed via GPS. The biker delivers brilliantly on the provided superbike, and even manages to evade a police car on his chase for extreme overspeed. After successfully performing in such a test run, Carlos appoints Rafa to regularly carry out such smuggles, till he has paid off Natalia’s debt, and even seems to give the man some cut of the drug. With the runs now needed to be even more effective and in shorter times, Carlos’ henchman Boro gives Rafa stimulant drugs (or speed tablets, as more commonly known) to keep him more alert on the road. Now ready for a singular bike rider with suspiciously high speeds, the Spanish police also quickly chase Rafa once he crosses over the border, first with a car and then with two police bikes, as they realize that cars are not that easy to maneuver in traffic. Carlos also makes arrangements to keep up with such measures of the law; Rafa is given a much faster bike, and instead of wasting time on refueling, he is given a different bike to ride from the checkpoint. As Rafa keeps running these jobs, he tells Natalia that he is managing everything and that she need not worry any longer. He also asks her to stay back in his apartment, along with Mateo, and the girlfriend finally agrees. Next, Carlos asks Rafa to deliver drugs from his shop directly to a buyer in Barcelona amidst ongoing protests on the streets. As he readies himself on the dirt bike provided for this job, his friend Cortes meets him and asks Rafa to not work with Carlos’ gang. Rafa does not pay heed and instead drives through streets bustling with protestors, breaking and burning things all around. However, a few masked men suddenly emerge and shoot down his bike, forcing Rafa to run through alleys on foot while being chased by a group of armed men. He somehow manages to shelter himself and calls for help from Carlos, who then sends men to help Rafa out of the situation.
Meanwhile, Rafa kept running tests on the circuit with Monlau and had even started to use the stimulant drugs before these sessions. After having some run-ins with his fellow competitors, he was making his life as a motorsport racer more difficult and complicated. This culminated in the last race of the testing season, in which only two racers would be selected to race for the team out of four. Possibly overwhelmed by everything going on in his life, Rafa could not even finish the race, and Regina disappointedly tells him that she had to release him from the team. After having lost his job in the dockyard, the day finally arrives when Rafa will carry out the last mission for Carlos and his gang. After successfully delivering the drugs and even accompanying Boro to the handover with the buyers, he harshly learns of the gang’s very different plans. Boro reveals that Rafa is not free to go but would have to continue delivering drugs till Carlos wanted him to. Terribly angered by this and also by Boro’s threats to bring more harm to Natalia, Rafa kills the henchman, violently shattering his head with his helmet. He now calls Cortes for help with disposing of the body and also presents him with a plan that would benefit both of them. Guessing that it was Cortes and his men who probably had attacked him during the protests because they wanted to take over Carlos’ drug business, Rafa offers to help Cortes now take over the business, promising to find out about Carlos’ drug storehouse and tell him about it.
‘Centauro’ Ending Explained: What Is Rafa’s Plan Of Escape And What Ultimately Happens To Him?
Once Carlos confronts Rafa about what happened to the drug deal money as well as to his missing henchman Boro, Rafa makes use of a misunderstanding that Carlos earlier had with Boro. He says that Boro had mentioned something about going over to his cousin Fadel’s place. Fadel was someone Carlos had earlier suspected to be working against him, and he now rushes over to his drug storehouse, also taking Rafa along. After getting there, he gets to know of Rafa’s lies, as his informer tells him that Fadel has been in jail for over a week now. Rafa tries to escape but fails, and is taken hostage by Carlos in the trunk of his car. Cortes and his men had already been following Carlos’ car some time back, and now Rafa sends them his live location. Cortes tracks them down and prepares an ambush, ramming a truck into the side of the car. He then quickly shoots Carlos dead and rescues Rafa from the trunk. As Cortes takes over the drug business, Rafa recovers from his wounds and is then seen spending some happy time with his family after some weeks. He now once again receives a call from Regina, who asks him to meet her at the track as her team has agreed to give the racer another chance to perform. Rafa happily agrees and goes down to meet her, but the plan is swiftly cut short when the police arrive and take Rafa into custody for questioning. They reveal that numerous pieces of hard evidence of him being involved in drug smuggling were found, and the police would not have thought twice before putting him in jail had he not been such a skilled motorbike rider. They now give him a way out of trouble—to join the police force as a law enforcement rider for the Central Narcotics Squad.
It becomes evident that Rafa’s dream of becoming a professional motorsports racer has now come to a crashing end as he is too mixed up in issues concerning the law. In the final scene, he is seen racing his police bike down a busy highway, but in order to apprehend a drug smuggler, riding his bike equally fast. Once on the other side of the law, Rafa now works for the authorities and successfully arrests the perpetrator. Despite having to lose out on his dream, “Centauro” ends with Rafa making enough money to afford a decent lifestyle in the loving company of his wife and son, whom he has been able to protect and convince them to get back together.
“Centauro” is a 2022 Drama Action film directed by Daniel Calparsoro.