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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Down Mexico Way

Miss Bala (2019) on IMDb

Plot Overview

applying makeupHollywood makeup artist Gloria Fuentes (Gina Rodriguez), a citizen of two countries, follows the Protestant work ethic on a never ending line of women. She also draws designer clothes, but her superior doesn't care to hear her fashion suggestion. She wishes for a more exciting life.

She drives to Tijuana to help her best friend Suzu (Cristina Rodlo) in the Miss Baja, California beauty pageant. She's too much of a plain Jane to enter it her­self, but not so plain that the pageant's major sponsor police Chief Saucedo (Damián Alcázar) will keep his hands off her at the Millennium Club. She takes a proper powder room break.

A rival faction hits the club ("Assassination Attempt on Chief Saucedo"), Suzu is taken captive, and Gloria is conscripted by the rival gang thinking she was the chief's doxy or some­thing. She finds her­self a disposable asset as a three-letter agency or a gang or two get their claws on her. Ref. Philip Kerr: “The KGB or the HVA doesn't care about who you were and what you did any more than the American CIA does. What matters is how they can use you to their present advantage” (201).


On first connecting up in Tijuana, the two excited friends greet each other with glee, jumping up and down like a dog reunited with her long-absent master. There's another canine resemblance, as well: (Prov. 26:17) “He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.” The Mexican parties peg Gloria as an out­sider—they call her a “Gringa”—interfering in matters not of her concern. It blows up in her face, of course. The only mitigating factor is she's the God­mother of Suzu's boy.

(Prov. 26:18) “As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?” Gloria goes under­cover and in her wake there follows fire (from grenade launchers), bullets (Spanish Bala), and dead bodies.

(Prov. 26:20) “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no tale­bearer, the strife ceaseth.” The gang breathed a sigh of relief when they got rid of their snitch … even though it was the wrong guy.

onions(Prov. 26:21) “As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.” Gloria provoked fights within the ranks. When she was supposed to be chopping up onions for the pozole, she draped a dish rag over the gas flame on the oven to create a diversionary fire and she left the room. That did the trick, and some­one else got blamed. She also took part in arms smuggling.

(Prov. 26:22) “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the inner­most parts of the belly.” Gloria hid a tracking chip in the battery case of a cell phone. The message that “The DEA has a mole in his operation” really set the gang leader on edge.

Production Values

” (2019) was directed by Catherine Hardwick. Its screen­play was written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, based on a Spanish-language film of the same name. It stars Gina Rodriguez, Cristina Rodlo, and Ismael Cruz Cordova. Actress Rodriguez really impressed me with her over-the-top acting and her fervid screen presence. Cordova was good as Lino a Mexican crime boss with a soft side. Anthony Mackie put in a brief appearance.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for sequences of gun violence, sexual and drug content, thematic material, and language. “Miss Bala” is a solid film though it falls short of true excellence. The plot and the pacing were its weakest points. The cast did a good job, though, and the action and shoot­outs were breathtaking.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

“Miss Bala” runs along the lines of a 007 James Bond thriller. There's a bullet in the title of one and in the opening lead-up of the other. Both their main characters were orphans … with God's special provision for same, which translates into impossibly good luck. There's cars, and guns, and gadgets. The book Bond is more a tragic figure like the movie Gloria here. Both are very intense. This one can pass as a chick flick.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three and a half stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Kerr, Philip. The Other Side of Silence. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2016. Print.