Miss Bala Review

Miss Bala Synopsis

Gloria Fuentes (Gina Rodriguez) is an underling makeup artist in Hollywood. Having grown up on both sides of the border, Gloria travels back to Mexico to help her childhood friend Suzu (Cristina Rodolo) prepare for the Miss Baja California pageant. The night before the pageant both girls go out to the club. Suzu is trying to get in good with the chief of police, Saucedo (Damien Alcazar), who sponsors the pageant. While there a drug gang infiltrates the club in a shootout. Lino (Ismael Cruz Cordova) who is the leader of the gang lets Gloria go but, Suzu goes missing. In an effort to find her friend Gloria ends tangled with both the DEA and the gang ran by Lino. She must use her wits and come up with a plan to save her friend and escape.

What I Liked About Miss Bala

Gina Rodriguez and Ismael Cruz Cordova are the main stars of this vehicle. Though they are playing antagonists to each other in the film, there is good chemistry between the two. Everything that Rodriguez’s character does in the film feels real. She does not seem to have secret skills that most heroes/heroines always seem to possess in an action film.
Other elements of the film are also very well done and the cinematography is excellent. There are plenty of ariel shots that show amazing views of California and Mexico. The soundtrack of the film is based in Spanish music which is only appropriate given the majority of the film being set in Mexico.

What Could Have Been Improved With Miss Bala

There isn’t a lot that I disliked in the film. It is overall something that could happen in real life. However, there is a scene pretty early in the run-time where Gloria becomes a mule for the cartel. She goes to San Diego with drugs and money and comes back to Mexico with guns. Lino tells Gloria to meet him in The Bullring parking lot. In a typical Hollywood move this parking lot is conspicuously empty and the exchange, for whatever reason, takes place out in the wide open. I suppose that this is all for dramatic effect as this is the point where Gloria has to decide, the DEA or the cartel.

My only other complaint is that Lino takes it very easy on Gloria right from the beginning. From the get-go, he seems to let his feelings for her (or maybe just her looks) cloud his judgment. He is ultimately too trusting of her in a way that no true gang leader would be and sets himself up to fail.

Final Thoughts on Miss Bala

This film could be the sleeper hit of the new year. For everything that takes place in the film, there is nothing that seems too implausible. The ending of the film leaves itself open for the possibility of a sequel.

Overall Score 3.5/5.

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About the Author
Sam started contributing reviews to Back Lot 605 late last year. Going to the movies is definitely is a full-time hobby, often going to one or two movies a week (she is really just in it for the popcorn)! She is considered the movie guru in her family. While she does love movies, the horror genre is not her cup of tea. Some of Sam’s favorite movies range from classics like The Way We Were, to funny comedies like the Hangover and while it’s hard to pick an absolute favorite, Pay It Forward ranks near the very top.
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