All Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) wanted to do was to go to Tijuana, Mexico and apply makeup to Suzu (Cristina Rodlo), one of her best friends, who is set to compete in the Miss Baja pageant.
In order to schmooze one of the pageant officials, Gloria and Suzu attend a pageant party only to find themselves in the middle of a gunfight and attempted murder.
Gloria makes it out of the nightclub, but can’t find Suzu. When she approaches an officer for help, she realizes – too late - that he is with the bad guys. She is quickly apprehended by a drug cartel who then makes her a drug mule who also commits other crimes. A quick thinker, Gloria manages to escape her captors only to be captured by an American DEA agent who believes she is a member of the drug cartel. If she doesn’t go back into the cartel as a mole to get much-needed information, the DEA agent threatens to put her in prison.
Once back inside the cartel, Gloria becomes the interest of Lino (Ismael Cruz Cordova), who, for some reason, teaches her how to use an automatic weapon. Lino and Gloria never really go beyond first base – although Lino occasionally touches her in rather provocative ways. Lino tries to make a connection with Gloria by revealing he is actually a Mexican-American who grew up in Bakersfield, CA.
These are the opening sequences of Miss Bala, currently in theaters nationwide. The film is a remake of Gerardo Naranjo’s 2011 Mexican thriller, which was grittier and more intriguing.
While there are interesting moments in the film, it doesn’t quite connect due to its predictability and implausibility.
Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) holds her own as does her co-star Cordova, who plays one of the generals in the cartel. Cordova is just the right amount of nasty. Rodriguez goes from a scared, hopeless woman to a badass in less than two hours.
Miss Bala stars Rodriguez, Cordova, Cristina Rodlo, Aislinn Derbez, Anthony Mackie, Matt Lauria, Thomas Dekker, and Ricardo Abarca.
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), Miss Bala gets an L (likable).