“Miss Bala” stars Gina Rodriguez, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Anthony Mackie, and Aislinn Derbez. Released on February 1, 2019, the film is about a woman who attempts to take down a drug cartel and rescue her friend.
The film is directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who also directed films such as “Lords of Dogtown”, “Twilight”, and “Miss You Already”. It is a remake of the 2011 Mexican film of the same name. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t get to this film sooner. Well, I can think of many reasons why, such as the cold weather, my job, the Super Bowl, and “Kingdom Hearts III”. Another good reason is that I was speculating on whether or not I should review it based on the reviews it’s been receiving. After putting much thought into it, I decided to go see what all the hubbub was about. This latest thriller sees “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez stepping into the action genre. Unfortunately, for me, this isn’t the right film for her to express her action-packed talents onscreen.
Similar to the 2011 film of the same name, the story in “Miss Bala” follows a woman named Gloria (Rodriguez) who gets caught in a war between the DEA and a Mexican drug cartel known as the Las Estrellas gang. Now, I haven’t seen the original version of “Miss Bala”, so I couldn’t compare the two in my review, but I will say that as its own film, it tried way too hard to be a thrilling popcorn-muncher, both story-wise and action-wise. Not only was the plot unconvincing, simplistic, and bland, but it had no idea whether it wants to be an action thriller or a dramatic thriller. Even the characters and the action sequences were nowhere near as caring nor as thrilling as some of the recent action films I’ve seen in the past. The marketing showcased that it’s supposed to be an action-packed ride, but in reality, it turns out that it focused more on the drama and less on the gun violence and the thrills. What made it worse was that the dramatic aspect was as dull as a rock. On the plus side, I did enjoy Rodriguez’s performance as Gloria. She was able to convince me that she’s ready to take on more roles like this even though the film wasn’t able to take full advantage of her performance. As for the rest of the cast, Córdova did all right as Lino Esparza and Anthony Mackie was a complete waste as he only appeared twice throughout the entire film.
Overall, “Miss Bala” offered Gina Rodriguez a chance to get her hands dirty. Sadly, it failed to capitalize on that suitable gesture. While Rodriguez managed to carry the film safely compared to the rest of the cast, its bland plot, weak characters, and the lack of thrills made itself inferior to the original version in more ways than one. I can understand what it’s going for. It’s just that the way they execute this concept didn’t exactly work well for me, and I’m supposed to be the guy who enjoys the heck out of action movies. If you’re interested in seeing Rodriguez in an action movie, I would suggest you wait until she gets a role in the upcoming “Fast & Furious” sequel.