REVIEW OF MISS BALA

Synopsis and information obtained from ComingSoon.net
Edited by Ariel Landrum

Grade: B

Miss Bala Movie.jpg

Surprises in a movie are always welcomed for me. Though I was intrigued when I first saw the trailer for Miss Bala many months ago, my expectations were low.  The trailer portrays the movie as your normal action thriller, but with a female star. I kept thinking to myself, “I want to see it, but it looks unoriginal, what if it’s a waste of my time?” Usually this thought is followed with, “Why not? I am AMC A-List member. It wouldn’t cost me much to see it.” Thank goodness for that second thought, because I couldn’t be happier I saw Miss Bala.

The storyline of Miss Bala is that the film follows a makeup artist who gets sucked into a mission to save her friend from a gang boss. This is the simplest I can explain the plot in order to maintain a spoiler free zone. That being said, be prepared for an intriguing movie filled with surprises and suspense. I was on the edge of my seat numerous times during its 104 minute run time. Gina Rodriguez did a phenomenal job as the principal character, Gloria.

A majority of the movie revolves around Gloria and Lino (played by Ismael Cruz Córdova), the “La Estrella” gang leader. Córdova does a really convincing job of playing a cold hearted and selfish gang boss. Gloria’s plight increases when she is coupled with Anthony Mackie’s character, Jimmy, who portrays a CIA agent that she must appease. This creates a pickle as Lino cannot know that Gloria is working with the CIA, though she needs him to keep his promise of finding her friend.

Miss Bala was refreshing in a way because unlike most action movies where the central character has a set of skills, Gloria is just your average Jill makeup artist who happens to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time, with her friend.  Gloria doesn’t know how to kick someones ass, nor does she even really know how to fire a gun properly; she instead adapts as best as she can.

I saw the movie in Dolby Digital, so every gun blast and rapid firing was really loud, which only added to the experience. I would definitely recommend seeing this movie in Dolby Digital if you can. Either way, there are numerous gun fights throughout the movie and all are shot pretty well. The cinematographer did a great job of giving you a front row seat of the action.

The movie was far from perfect, however. One issue I had was it appeared that things would simply work our unskilled lead. She was always able to (fairly easily) get out of any jam that she was in. Another concern revoled the title of the movie. “Bala” means bullet in Spanish, and the title Miss Bala has very little to do with the movie. There is no mention of “Miss Bala” during any scene. The closest it gets to it is during the Miss Baja competition that plays a key part within the story. Though there maybe more to the title choice, instead of it being revealed organically, it would instead involve audiences to do research to find the answer.

Miss Bala does throw you some twists and its story keeps you holding your breath until the very last scene.  It was very entertaining.

Of course Miss Bala is not targeting (no pun intended) an Oscar and it is by no means an award winning movie. Still, the movie did hit its mark (okay that pun was intended) in entertaining me, throwing me a few twists, and causing me to hold my breath during intense scenes. Go see it and have a blast, you will be well entertained!

Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of gun violence, sexual and drug content, thematic material, and language)
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Screenwriter: Gareth Dunnet Alcocer
Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Matt Lauria, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Cristina Rodlo, Ricardo Abarca, Daniela de la Fe
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Action

Synopsis:

A beauty contest winner is forced to work for a crime boss after she witnesses a murder. The movie remake of the 2011 film, "Miss Bala."

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