Miss Bala Reviews
Laura Guerrero dreams of taking part in a beauty pageant and, along with her friend, Azucena ‚~Suzu‚(TM) Ramos, she is about to realise that dream. Well that‚(TM)s the plan anyway. They turn up for registration and are accepted but things are about to go wrong for Laura in the worst possible way. Suzu is picked up by a boyfriend who takes her to a club. Laura wants to go shopping and so she follows her there to try and persuade her to come with her. Whilst there, a gang of criminals break into the club and begin shooting. Laura gets out but can‚(TM)t find Suzu anywhere. Eventually she finds a policeman who agrees to help her but she soon finds herself in the hands of the criminals who were at the club. They get her to drive a car and park it at a certain location. It later transpires that the car contained the bodies of two DEA agents who were killed at the club. Laura is now in the control of the gang; in particular their leader, Lino Valdez, and things are about to get much worse‚¶ I‚(TM)ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Bala Division) will be selling me out to the gangs (again).
A very well made film with some rough edges to it that give it a sense of realism. One scene in particular in a car with a gunfight going on outside really appears quite realistic. Good performances all round, although it‚(TM)s hard to judge in a foreign language, I did feel that Stephanie Sigman as Laura Guerrero was particularly good. The action focuses mostly on Laura and the gang leader; Lino Valdez, played by No√ (C) Hern√°ndez, who was also very good. I will give honourable mentions to; Juan Carlos Galv√°n as Arturo Guerrer, Irene Azuela as Jessica Berlanga, Javier Zaragoza as Ram√≥n Guerrero and Lakshmi Picazo as Azucena ‚~Suzu‚(TM) Ramos.
A damning indictment on the drugs trade in Mexico, this film highlights the plight of many that fall into the clutches of these gangs. I did enjoy the rough and ready style of filming; you really felt you were right in the heart of the action‚¶ maybe a little too close at times! Although I enjoyed it I did feel it was lacking a certain something. I think it was a sense of menace from the gang leader, Lino; he just didn‚(TM)t seem to have enough malice about him to make Laura fear him so much. Maybe I‚(TM)m wrong but that‚(TM)s how I saw it. Over all though a film that‚(TM)s well worth a look (if you can do battle with the subtitles).
SteelMonster‚(TM)s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 6.9/10
In the other hand if the film is trying to clean up the original miss Sinaloa that was captured a couple of years ago with members of the Juarez cartel, then I would say that they did a good job in that regard.