Miss Bala

A remake of the critically acclaimed 2011 Mexican film of the same name, Miss Bala is a fairly typical average action thriller that does not add much to the genre and is bogged down by rather underwhelming performances and a sloppy script filled with cliches. We first meet the main character and Mexican-American makeup artist Gloria, played by Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez best known for her role on the TV show Jane the Virgin, crossing the border from her home in the United States to help her friend Suzu who lives in Tijuana, Mexico prepare for a local beauty pageant. However, after visiting a nightclub in which a local gang attacks, Gloria is separated from her friend and desperately tries to find her. Eventually, she is told by the Las Estrellas Mexican gang that they will help locate her friend and bring her to safety if Gloria agrees to work with the gang. She enters in a rather unusual relationship with the boss who is named Lino and is convinced to participate in criminal and often violent activities as the only way to see her friend ever again. For a while, she is kept at a safe house in the outskirts of Tijuana where she meets a another woman who has been held against her will to be with the gang members as a sort of sex slave. Towards the end of the film, Gloria is forced to get involved with an assassination attempt on the Tijuana Chief of Police, played by Damián Alcázar best known for his role on the TV show Narcos. She is also secretly contacted by the DEA and a undercover CIA agent played by Anthony Mackie to help foil the activities of the Las Estrellas and its leader Lino. The movie gives Gina Rodriguez a promising start to a dramatic film career but, unfortunately, her talents are underutilized and she never really becomes a full-fledged action star expected for her role. Overall, I found it to be a mildly entertaining action thriller that somehow lacks much action or thrills, and it did not use the potential of a clearly talented Gina Rodriguez to really shine and help the film escape the tired tropes of an action movie.

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