Flamin’ Hot

June 9, 202360/1006 min
Starring
Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez, Emillio Rivera, Dennis Haysbert
Written by
Lewis Colick and Linda Yvette Chávez
Directed by
Eva Longoria
Run Time
1h 39min
Release Date
June 9th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

            Where I’m from, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are not a food, they are a way of life. That though was not always the case and I remember when Hot Cheetos was just another flavor of the popular chip. Now you may ask yourself where did this idea come from? Well, with origin stories being so popular in today’s comic book movies, why not one about one of the best snacks out there, minus the red fingers of course.

Way back in the 1970’s and early 1980’s a man named Richard Montañez ( Jesse Garcia) was just another kid on the street trying to make his hustle. Richard though had a family and he and his wife Judy (Annie Gonzalez) were barely making ends meet, but Richard wasn’t going to be stopped until he found a good job. So after it seemed all hope had run out, Richard asks a friend to put in a good word at his job at Frito Lay, and soon Richard is a janitor and working full time. Richard though is not going to just settle with just getting in the door, he wants to do more. And with the help of another employee names Clarence C. Baker (Dennis Haysbert), he starts to learn all about how things work in the company. Richard is learning a lot, but as for career advancement, well that is not in his future. What is also not happening is good times at Frito Lay, as sales has caused Richard’s plant to lose workers and might even have to be shut down. Richard though, after hearing a message from his CEO, decides that it is up to him to come up with something to save his factory and company, and the rest as they say is history.

Written by Lewis Colick and Linda Yvette Chávez, and directed by Eva Longoria, Flamin’ Hot brings a true story that has a touching focus on family as well as cultural authenticity. Most would take the bottom up approach in telling such a story, but the filmmakers don’t do that, instead they head in the opposite direction, thus keeping the film light and fluffy. A lot of the good feelings is because of Garcia, as he just charms his way through the entirety of the film’s run time. Where Garcia brings the fun, It’s Gonzalez as Judy that brings the heart and keeps the movie grounded.

 Flamin’ Hot could have gone in a different direction, but everyone behind it choose correctly and deliver a real crowd-pleaser. You have to love a movie that showcases a can-do attitude without any pessimism, as you won’t see many better portrayals of the classic American Dream as you do here. It has a lot of spirt that also serves as a heartwarming drama, as well as a comedy, all delivered with great energy that seems to fit just right. This is the biopic you would expect for this now iconic snack, as it fits its vibe perfectly. Look Flamin’ Hot is not going to blow you away, but with its passionate delivery and message of hope and love much like your first bag of Hot Cheetos, you will end up loving every crunchy bit.

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