Based on the books and diaries of Ernesto Guevara De La Serna and his buddy Alberto Granado, the film delivers a motorcycle road trip that lands these two Argentineans in Peru. Ernesto, just a quarter from graduation as a medical doctor and Alberto a biochemist turning thirty, the two friends face tumbles, snow, rain and lack of funds with a relentless zest for travel.
Though well paced and pleasantly shot, the film seldom finds a deep sense of drama. Engaging and interesting nonetheless, viewers will respect the ambitions of these two. And later with more impact, Ernesto finds himself so moved by his stay at a Leper colony in Peru that he swims the Amazon to spend the rest of his birthday with them. That act is used as the film's climax. In fact, since the picture is based on actual events, the filmmakers must pick and chose which will carry drama.
Shot on location whenever possible (some very beautiful natural landscapes are captured), and enlisting many indigenous people to strengthen authenticity, the film remains sincere. Additionally, the two leads are strong; but while the trip may have substantially moved the two travelers, the film doesn't move much until the last half-hour.
The film is subtitled in English; some of that dialogue flashes so quickly on the screen, that only the fastest of readers will capture it all.