Movie Reviews

Published on February 1st, 2019 | by Josh Aja


Miss Bala

Gloria (Gina Rodriguez), a makeup artist in Los Angeles, heads to Tijuana for a fun weekend with her best friend, Suzu (Cristina Rodlo). Gloria is going to help Suzu prepare for the Miss Baja California beauty pageant. They decide to head to a club to rub elbows with one of the more important judges, Chief Saucedo (Damian Alcazar). That is when a fun trip turns into a nightmare, several members of a local cartel, Estrella (Spanish for star), break in and start shooting up the club. The leader of Estrella, Leno (Ismael Cruz Cordova), believes that Chief Saucedo is trying to cut into his business and is there to assassinate him. Gloria escapes but gets separated from Suzu. She searches all night and calls the hospitals but can’t find her friend. She finds a police officer to have him help search and tells him he saw the attackers. Instead of taking her to the police station he delivers her to Estrella and Leno. He agrees to help her find her friend but there is a price. Now Gloria will have go to great lengths to find her friend and survive a deadly battle between a cartel and the police from right in the middle of the chaos.

Gina Rodriguez is really good in this film. I thought her performance was definitely the best part of this film. Otherwise the performances were a mix bag of good and bad. Cruz Cordova in particular failed to really come across as a scary, but sensitive, cartel leader.  The cameo by Anthony Mackie was a surprise. The story is really interesting and there were times that were suspenseful. The action was decent with some good scenes. The issue was there were also some campy performances and scene set ups that felt rushed. The film was shot decently and the music fit well. The end, which I would not dare spoil, really fell short of all of the buildup.

Before looking for a trailer for this movie I did not know that this was a remake of a 2012 film of the same name. I would be interested to see this film to compare the two because I enjoyed the story. This film missed on some points but really did entertain me for the hour and forty-four minutes. I would say that you could save this for streaming or rental. I don’t think that it would be a movie I would watch again in the theater.

2 out of 5

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