Soderbergh's effort is inspired but somewhat displaced. His approach - to focus on selected aspects of Che's guerrilla career, at the beginning and end thereof - has its merits. The time limits of filmmaking require one to get at the heart of one's subject quickly and not crowd too much into a film narrative. Yet Soderbergh has ironically done that by drawing his production out into four hours.
To be fair one should see this as two films, a "Che I" and "Che 2" as a sequel. The second, like most sequels, doesn't measure up to the first and turns into an endurance test on the part of the viewer - though this may be intended, to emphasize the futility and desperation that enclosed Che in Bolivia. Perhaps he even welcomed the end of this campaign, as one welcomes its end on screen. Depicting his "Waterloo" serves also as epitaph for 1960s guerrilla romanticism.
A better complement to "I" would have devoted perhaps a half hour to Bolivia. Che was not the most outstanding of guerrilla warriors in Cuba or Latin America, and there were other aspects to Che's life besides combat. A look at his time as commander of La Cabana Fortress, overseeing the Revolutionary Tribunals; or pushing a hard line during the Missile Crisis; or portraying the origin of that iconic photograph, at the mass funeral of counter-revolutionary terrorist victims, would have more engaged the general viewer and done more justice to his legacy. Mention also of his trials and tribulations in Africa, as another reviewer suggests, would also have been appropriate.
Still, Soderbergh has done a better job than mainstream Hollywood ever could have, had it even deigned to touch the subject. Only Soderbergh's own radical edge could do this project any justice at all, and that we must give him.