Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Mexico's entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar tells the story of Laura Guerrero (Stephanie Sigman), a young woman whose girlfriend is among those killed at a club party by henchmen of a druglord terrorizing the country's north. Laura, who has vague aspirations of entering the state's beauty pageant, sees too much and finds herself an unwilling participant in the gang's deadly trafficking operations.
It's an interesting premise and certainly a timely one, and Sigman gives a solid performance, but man, is there some fat in the movie's two-hour running time. The club-party ambush is presented confusingly, and the rest of the action takes place in a slow-motion stupor. There are some good ideas in "Miss Bala" (why Bala and not Baja I'll never know), but the execution holds it back.