Film Review: ‘Miss Bala’ dishes out some stylish payback

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“Revenge Cinema” has become as popular a genre, of late, as are movies about demon possession and superheroes with PTSD. This month, we will see Liam Neeson (the king of over-the-hill ass-kickers) return to the screens with the vengeance-fueled “Cold Pursuit.” Then comes “Alita: Battle Angel,” an anime-inspired actioner about a robot vigilante in the body of a girl. Even the comedy “What Men Want” seems to qualify. Though it takes a less brutal approach to revenge, you can bet when Taraji P. Henson starts reading men’s minds, a bit of gender-focused vengeance is definitely going to be dished out, and with plenty of style.

It all kicks off with “Miss Bala,” a remake of Gerardo Neranjo’s 2011 Spanish-language thriller. This one, directed by Catherine Hardwicke (“Thirteen,” “Twilight”) stars Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), and was filmed on location in Tijuana.

The film has proven divisive, with women tending to enjoy it, and men tending to find it’s female-powered angel of violence disturbing.

Well, you know what they say about payback.

Here’s what one of our local millennial film reviewers has to say.

‘Miss Bala’ (PG-13)

Alexa Chipman

Gloria faces a constant barrage of ever-shifting danger in “Miss Bala.” Her fierce drive to survive and save her best friend is the definition of “girl power.”

The horrific situations and sexual harassment is disturbing, yet Gloria perseveres with relentless courage. The level of misogyny that she has to endure left me furious and desperately willing her to find a way to escape. She is quietly stubborn despite psychological humiliation, with an inner steel that I found inspiring.

Gloria’s resourcefulness and patience leads to a badass finale.

She strides through flying bullets, red dress billowing behind, casually resting an AR-15 on her shoulder like a goddess of vengeance.

[Suggested Emojis: Thumbs Up; Happy Face]

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