Oscar's dream is to join the US Army and serve the country -- his bedroom is filled with recruiting posters, his ROTC uniform kept pristine, his haircut and his demeanor regulation at all times. He is driven, responsible, and a natural leader.
Cristian is a stereotypical nerd, his days spent writing software and dodging (usually unsuccessfully) his personal bully. His is a gifted mind, even if, after a brief encounter with near electrocution, he admits he is a theorist at heart. (Note: I may have had a similar experience and realization some years in the past myself.)
Lorenzo has talented hands and a mind that can compose parts into an elegant whole, whether he's cooking a meal with fresh ingredients or fixing a car. The elder son, he is constantly vexed by the challenge of keeping his hotheaded little brother out of trouble.
Luis is a quiet giant. Kindhearted, he tries to help those who are in trouble, including protecting the bullied from the bullies. But he can only be in one place at a time, and he's not the fastest draw when it comes to thinking things through.
Spare Parts is the (based on a) true story of how these four high school students banded together to build a remotely-operated unmanned underwater vehicle with what materials they could scrounge and entered it into an annual competition against teams from some of the top engineering universities (that's right, I said universities) in the country under the watchful eye of their club sponsor, Dr. Fredi Cameron (one of the liberties taken in the film adaptation of the story was the merging to two different teachers, one Iranian and one Caucasian, into George Lopez). Because of the ethnicity of the characters involved, it is frequently being compared to Stand and Deliver, which is not terribly apt. Instead, I would suggest it's Stand and Deliver crossed with Race the Sun but made by the folks who brought you Disney's Remember the Titans.
|Also starring TWO TIME OSCAR-WINNER Marisa Tomei. Nope, that never gets old.|
|Important movies typically don't have their casts make that face.|
The movie also stops at the convenient family-friendly point in the team's story, and the struggles of the four as they entered adulthood are glossed over by the obligatory "where are they now" end notes. In particular, it fails to capture Oscar's post-high school life,which deserves an entire movie itself. A short on-screen blurb can't accurately portray that Oscar did make it into college, paying his way with construction jobs, and earned an engineering degree, got married, and had a child. That he then self-deported so that he could go to the consulate in his home country and apply for entry by the book. That at that point he was told that since he'd entered the country illegally as a child, he'd have to wait a decade to apply for legal entry as punishment. That, as he toiled away as a day laborer in Mexico, Senator Dick Durbin took notice of his story and asked INS to reconsider, then used Oscar's story as ammunition when he stumped for the Dream Act in Congress. That Oscar became a citizen and did join the Army Airborne, including serving a tour in Afghanistan.
|Though he was never a member of Big Time Rush.|