Title: Miss Bala
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Anthony Mackie
Runtime: 1 hr 44 mins
What It Is: A remake of a Mexican movie that was nominated for Best Foreign Film in 2011. The movie is an action thriller about Gloria (played by Jane the Virgin, star Gina Rodriguez) who goes to Tijuana to help her best friend Suzu (Cristina Rodlo) get ready for a pageant there. One night as they are out at a club Gloria witnesses a shooting which would turn her life upside down for the course of the movie…and maybe longer, the way the movie ends. She ends up getting kidnapped and becoming both a mule for the gang led by Lino (Cordova) and an undercover informant for the DEA.
What We Think: It’s a good action film with a good strong female lead that has a few different twists towards the end (but none as “twisty” as Shyamalan has done). The supporting cast of Cordova as Mexican gang leader Lino, Lauria (of Friday Night Lights and Parenthood fame) as DEA agent Brian who has his own motives, and Mackie (best known for his role as Falcon / Sam Wilson in the MCU and his multiple nominated role in Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker) as undercover DEA agent Jimmy were good in their roles (albeit limited for Lauria and Mackie), but not good enough to save the movie.
Our Grade: C- The twists towards the end of the movie were somewhat ridiculous and I felt rushed just to give closure to the movie. That being said Gina’s portrayal as a strong female protagonist was wonderful, but some of the movies felt unrealistic in terms of pacing. For the most part, the movie moved at a good pace, but there were a few times when the movie ground to a halt in my opinion. Will the movie win any awards? Doubt it. Is it a good popcorn movie with a strong female lead. Yes.