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miss bala

Director: Catherine Hardwicke (twilight, the nativity story)

Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Anthony Mackie, and Matt Lauria

 

REVIEWER: emily carter

★★★

Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. 

Miss Bala turns up the volume with big blockbuster scenes, but does it go a little too "Hollywood"?

 

From my understanding (having NOT watched the first), the original Miss Bala is about a pageant contestant made a victim in a cartel crossfire, whereas this remake is a wrong-place-wrong-time makeup artist becoming a true heroine.

 

Gina Rodriguez plays the badass woman in question, Gloria. When she can't find her friend Suzu after a shooting frenzy in the club, she approaches a cop, who promptly hands her over to the cartel.

 

After so many heart-wrenching crimes that Gloria is forced to be a part of, you can't help but think over and over, what would I do? She's caught in such impossible situations with no one to trust, turning her from a victim into hero very quickly. And now the Hollywood-factor ensures. Big sweeping scenes, explosions and kick-butt moments turn this remake into a big screen moment for sure.

 

I know Gina from Jane the Virgin, so I know she can do light and funny. But boy oh boy, she has got the Hollywood drama vibe down as well. Very watchable with not a touch of cringe (which can be tough in shoot 'em up films).

 

A fun and flashy Friday night watch. Just perhaps missing the grit and depth of it's original. You finish with a few plot and character questions, but are overtaken by the big explosive bits.

 

Enjoyable, but maybe not as meaty as it could have been. 

★★★

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Miss Bala is available on DVD and digital from all good disc and digital retailers.