The action-thriller “Centauro” pits a semi-professional motorcycle rider in Spain who aspires to turn pro against a ruthless gang of drug traffickers amid protests for a Catalan state in Barcelona. While the majority of the film’s plot and narrative is simplistic and fairly straightforward, where it catches up is in the fast-paced action and bike-riding sequences. Overall, “Centauro” isn’t too disappointing and is quite an exciting watch, mainly due to the on-road and racetrack scenes.
‘Centauro’ Plot Summary
Rafa is billed as a regular entrant in lower semi-professional motorcycle racing competitions, but with high hopes of one day competing at the sport’s top level. The youngster appears to be having a bad run though, as he loses a win due to his bike’s durability failing 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 much 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 training on circuits, the man works as a crane operator in the ports of Barcelona; a job he is forced to do because motor racing alone still does not earn him much money. His family life is soon introduced, as Rafa is now estranged from his young partner, Natalia, despite being in love with her and wanting to get back together. Their son, Mateo, seems to love spending time with his dad in his garage-like apartment turned basement, and Rafa, too, is very fond of his son. One day, while visiting his wife’s apartment, Rafa finds her beaten and the place heavily ransacked. Confused and worried, he asks Natalia what happened and discovers that the woman, who is also struggling to make ends meet, especially with their son, has become involved in the drug trade. She had hidden drugs worth two hundred thousand euros in her house for a gang, and the drugs were stolen from her. The men who owned the drugs had threatened to beat her more if she didn’t return it within a week. Although he knows not to get involved in drug trafficking, Rafa has no choice but to protect his partner and his son. Hosting them in his own apartment, Rafa tracks down the drug dealers with the help of his friend Cortes and arranges a meeting with them. Meeting drug lord Carlos and trying to come up with a solution to help his girlfriend, Rafa agrees to a twisted plan that would have him smuggle drugs on his motorcycle down the highway for two months. In exchange, Carlos promises that Natalia will be left alone.
How does Rafa use his riding skills in this illegal business?
Carlos clarifies that due to the violent protests which take place almost every night in Barcelona and its surroundings, the local drug supply chain has been disrupted, which has forced him to buy cocaine from French dealers in Marseilles. He now wants the drugs delivered from the port of Marseilles to his store in Barcelona in an almost unbelievably short time of two hours, and appoints Rafa to do the job, using his cycling skills. The first time Rafa rides the road, he is driven to Marseilles, given the drugs and the bike, and told what exactly he has to do, cross the international border without stopping, because the tolls for his bike would be automatically paid. He would then have to meet the men of the drug gang, who would fill the tank of his bike without having to go to a gas station. Rafa would be timed throughout the mission and also tracked by GPS. The biker delivers brilliantly on the provided superbike, and even manages to evade a police car during his extreme overspeed chase. After passing such a trial, Carlos appoints Rafa to carry out such smuggling on a regular basis, until he has paid off Natalia’s debt, and even appears to give the man some of the drugs. With races now expected to be even more efficient and shorter, Carlos’ henchman Boro gives Rafa some stimulants (or speed pills, as they are more commonly known) to keep him more alert on the road. Now ready for a singular cyclist with strangely high speeds, the Spanish police also quickly pursue Rafa once he crosses the border, first with a car and then with two police bikes, as they realize that the cars are not so easy to maneuver in traffic. . Carlos also arranges to follow these measures of the law; Rafa is given a much faster bike, and instead of wasting time refueling, he is given a different bike to ride from the checkpoint. As Rafa continues to handle these jobs, he tells Natalia that he handles everything and she doesn’t have to worry anymore. He also asks her to stay in his apartment, with Mateo, and the girlfriend finally agrees. Then Carlos asks Rafa to deliver drugs from his store directly to a buyer in Barcelona amid ongoing protests in the streets. As he gets ready on the dirt bike planned for this job, his friend Cortes meets him and asks Rafa not to work with Carlos’ gang. Rafa pays no attention and instead drives through streets bustling with protesters, smashing and burning things all around. However, a few masked men suddenly appear and shoot down his bike, forcing Rafa to run on foot through the alleys while being chased by a group of armed men. He manages somehow to take shelter and calls for help Carlos, who then sends men to help Rafa out of the situation.
Meanwhile, Rafa continued to test on the circuit with Monlau and had even started using the stimulants before these sessions. After having had a few clashes with his fellow competitors, he was making his life as a motorsport driver more difficult and complicated. This resulted in the final race of the test season, in which only two riders would be selected to race for the team out of four. Perhaps overwhelmed by everything going on in his life, Rafa couldn’t even finish the race, and Regina tells him with disappointment that she had to release him from the team. After losing his job at the shipyard, 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 shed with the buyers, he learns the gang’s vastly different plans the hard way. Boro reveals that Rafa is not free to leave but should continue delivering drugs until Carlos wants him to. Terribly angered by this and also by Boro’s threats to harm Natalia more, Rafa kills the henchman, violently smashing his head with his helmet. He now calls Cortes to help him dispose of the body and also presents him with a plan that would benefit them both. Guessing that it was Cortes and his men who probably 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 the Carlos’ drug warehouse and tell him about it.
‘Centauro’ Ending Explained: What’s Rafa’s Escape Plan and What Happens to Him Ultimately?
Once Carlos confronts Rafa about what happened to the drug dealing money as well as his missing henchman Boro, Rafa uses a misunderstanding Carlos had earlier with Boro. He says Boro had mentioned something about going to his cousin Fadel. Fadel was someone Carlos had suspected of working against him, and now he rushes to his drug warehouse, taking Rafa with him as well. Once there, he learns of Rafa’s lies, as his informant 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 were already following Carlos’ car a while ago, and now Rafa is sending them his location live. Cortes tracks them down and sets up an ambush, ramming a truck into the side of the car. He then quickly shoots Carlos down and rescues Rafa from the vault. As Cortes takes over the drug business, Rafa recovers from his injuries and then spends some quality time with his family after a few weeks. He again gets a call from Regina, who asks him to meet her at the track as her team has agreed to give the rider another chance to perform. Rafa happily agrees and goes down to meet him, but the plan is quickly interrupted when the police arrive and take Rafa into custody for questioning. They reveal that plenty of hard evidence of his involvement in the drug trade has been found, and the police wouldn’t have thought twice about putting him in jail if he hadn’t been such a skilled motorcyclist. They now give him a way out of trouble: to join the police as a law enforcement trooper for the Central Narcotics Squad.
It becomes apparent that Rafa’s dream of becoming a professional motorsport driver has now come to an abrupt end as he is too embroiled in matters concerning the law. In the final scene, he is seen riding his police bike down a busy highway, but in order to apprehend a drug dealer, he drives just as fast. Once on the other side of the law, Rafa now works for the authorities and successfully arrests the perpetrator. Although he had to lose his dream, “Centauro” ends up earning enough money for Rafa to afford a decent life in the loving company of his wife and son, whom he knew how to protect and convince them to get back together.
“Centauro” is a 2022 action-drama film directed by Daniel Calparsoro.