Having been a former beauty pageant contestant (pick your jaws up off the floor now), I was all over this film like cheap suit. Convinced I was about to screen a cheeky action flick about pageant chicks ala Miss Congeniality, I realized quickly I was about to be taken on a heist adventure ride courtesy of Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) and Columbia Pictures..
Gloria Fuentes (Gina Rodriguez) hasn’t been back to Mexico in a minute and returns only to hang out with her good girlfriend Suzu. Suzu convinces Gloria to hit up a local club with her in order to smooze with pageant officials in order to grab an edge in the competition. That never happens. Suzu is kidnapped after a raid at the club and Gloria finds herself in a most comprising position involuntarily doing double duty for the DEA and the Cartel. When the DEA leaves her high and dry, Gloria does what she has to in order to survive and rescue her bestie.
Based on a Spanish language film, the flow of the film has its issues, but Gina Rodriguez is a badass in a red dress kicking butts and taking names. I loved seeing her in this type of role and she owns every second. The chemistry between her Cruz Cordova (Lino) could literally start a wildfire. The last chapter of the flick alone is worth the price of admission.
I also loved seeing Director Catherine Hardwicke step outside of the ‘Twilight’ franchise and her comfort zone supporting a Latina leading lady and cast shooting in Mexico City. However, I wish it had been a little stronger of a film for Gina Rodriguez’s first lead in a feature film.
Miss Bala hit theaters on February 1st. Check out this trailer, which already has garnered over 8 million hits.