Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Let me kick this off nice and simple for anyone who doesn’t want to read the whole thing and just needs that little push over the edge to watch this thing… Do it! This is absolutely the best documentary I have watched and if I could give it more than 5 out of 5 stars I would!

Best documentary I have seen is a bold claim! I’ve seen documentaries about drugs, gangs, murderers, professional wrestling, animals, the environment, cars… The list goes on an on, as documentaries are one of the most diverse types of films or shows out there – you can find a documentary about just about anything! So what sets this one apart?

For starters, there’s the subject matter.

Danny Trejo is an exceptional human being. Just spend 2 minutes on his social media and you will find a man who is always helping out with food drives, donating his time, stopping for fans and just generally being the pillar of the community anyone could hope for.

But guess what!

He get’s even better! In this documentary you see all of the work which he does (although it’s a shame that the huge amount he has done through the COVID-19 outbreak hasn’t made it in to the film) – there’s a lot of work with addicts, alcoholics and inmates… All things which are close to him. Through this film you find out just how close those subjects are to him. From spending time in San Quentin prison for a life times worth of robberies to taking heroin when he was just 12 years old.

The fact that he’s a bad boy shouldn’t come as a surprise… He plays the part so damn well, because that is, or at least was him and I for one thank Hollywood for making this man a star. Not only has it given us a chance to see him in action, but it has given him a chance to do the work which he does.

The man himself isn’t the only thing which makes this documentary great… Although his absolute level of honesty throughout does help massively. You don’t leave wondering whether he’s hiding anything… Which is what makes it so incredible that you still leave thinking of Danny Trejo as the hero who rescued a child from a car wreck (which also didn’t make it in to the documentary), rather than the terror who robbed shows with a hand grenade!

Danny admits that he doesn’t feel like he will ever likely make up to society for what he has done. I think if you watch this film you’ll agree with everyone around him that he’s made the biggest effort anyone could ever hope for and that rehabilitation is absolutely possible.

The way the story is told through his own words, interspersed with friends and family members, all telling the same big story helps to solidify this as a true account of his life, and I have to say that there is no one in the show whom you don’t want to listen to… There is no one boring or unbelievable – they did a really great job of choosing who should help him tell his story.

We start off with him coming and taking a seat in what looks like a commercial building, but we spend much of the time on the street… in his neighborhood, as if he’s showing us around the community he is so proud to be a part of… It feels like a chat amongst friends rather than a cloudy window in to the best parts of a celebrities life, as many of these films often end up as.

Absolutely love this and I hope a lot of people take the opportunity to learn something from this film!

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