Flamin’Hot review: a spicy film…but not too much!

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How can a man used to living on the margins of society create a bright future for himself? We find out in Flamin’Hot, here is our review

ORIGINAL TITLE: Flamin’ Hot. TYPE: drama, biographical, comedy. NATION: United States. REGIA: Eva Longoria. CAST: Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez, Emilio Rivera, Vanessa Martinez, Dennis Haysbert, Matt Walsh, Tony Shalhoub, Pepe Serna. DURATION: 99 minutes. DISTRIBUTOR: Hulu, Disney+. EXIT: 2023.

If there is one type of story that cinema will probably never stop telling, it is that of men and women who, with great talent, were able to change their destiny forever. The story we would like to tell you about today belongs precisely to this trend. It’s about Flamin’ Hotthe first film he sees as director Eva Longoria and available on Disney Plus. It is a film that brings together many motivational themes, celebrating, at the same time, the Mexican origins of the actress. Flamin’ Hot pays homage to the true story of Richard Montanezbusinessman and son of Mexican immigrants, who claims to have invented i Flamin ‘Hot Cheetos, a spicy version of Cheetos, crunchy corn-based snacks, made by Frito-Lay, a PepsiCo subsidiary. The real talent recognized in Montañez is not so much the ability to have created a snack, but that of having managed to climb the corporate hierarchy, starting from scratch. A story like his really deserved to be told (albeit taking some liberties with the plot), which is why here is our review.

Flamin'Hot review: a spicy film…but not too much!

One of us | Flamin’Hot review

Among many films, sometimes a bit cloying, concerning the life of a character, we must say that Flamin’ Hot lets itself be watched, quickly scrolling through a fluid and never boring story. Richard Montanez (jesse garcia) is in fact a perfect protagonist for those who want to become attached to the central character right away. He is in fact a common man, without exaggerated ambitions, cumbersome dreams or convictions of having to change the world. But also a great optimist, who believes in his own abilities, free from hierarchical conceptions, despite the difficulties of integrating into a society that considers him different. In short, Richard Montañez is the classic character in which many viewers could identify.

One of the great strengths of Flamin ‘Hot is the choice to use this character as the narrator of the story. This decision gave way, not just to create a lively narrative, told in the first person and therefore more authentic, but also to manage the scenes in which he is not physically present in a particular way, reworking them according to his vision. In this way, even the most serious and formal moments are seasoned with his way of doing, thinking and seeing the world. An ingenious and amusing gimmick, capable of eliciting a smile from the viewer and helping to give the character that sweetly simple and naive air, which will endear the audience.

Flamin'Hot review: a spicy film…but not too much!

Mexican Pride | Flamin’Hot review

Certainly Richard is not alone in driving the narrative forward. Its social group is fundamental to its evolution. Son of Mexican immigrants, his life in California is not easy, because he was considered different from an early age. It will be the community to which he belongs, his wife (Annie González) at the forefront, to move its decisions. Flamin’Hot takes the opportunity to show the world and celebrate mexican culture, of which Eva Longoria herself is a daughter. From the importance of the family, to the enhancement of food but also, and above all, how far from simple the life of a Mexican immigrant is in a society that is not the one of origin.

Longoria has focused a lot on the condition in which many Mexicans live. Despite a marked pride in who one is, the film reveals that the life of a Mexican in a foreign land is not easy. Accustomed to living on the margins of a society that considers them strange, different and sometimes even inferior, it becomes normal to relate almost exclusively with one’s own social group. Prejudice triggers a spiral from which minorities are struggling to get out. Those who would like to integrate and change the state of things often find obstacles and then all that remains is to accept their condition, convincing themselves that leaving the ranks and climbing the social pyramid is impossible. The treatment that others reserve for you and the need to survive forces you to take paths that you don’t want to take, such as delinquency. It’s like an endless cycle, which fuels hatred and marginalization, but which Montañez knows how to fight.

Flamin'Hot review: a spicy film…but not too much!

Little spiciness! | Flamin’Hot review

We now come to one of the salient points of the film, the real sore point of this production. It is clear how we wanted to use the true story of Richard Montañez as an example of great virtue. The purpose? Creating a film that had as its central theme the importance of meritocracy and not giving up in the face of adversity, underlining how much we could get lost if we don’t give space to the right people. At the same time Flamin’Hot becomes a sort of symbol for all those who have something to say, to propose, but don’t feel up to being able to do it.

It would seem a virtuous goal, but there is a small problem. Assuming that the story told is rather fictional than the real story, it is unrealistic, especially nowadays. The difficulties that arise for the protagonist lead to one hasty and often too simplistic resolution to be credible. Situations similar to those that happened to Richard would actually demotivate anyone who didn’t have the same luck as him in overcoming problems as if they were just minor annoyances. In the film, the protagonist is in fact all too good at getting out of trouble. There is no fatigue, there are no crises, nor moments of true and intense concern. In short, our Montañez really seems to be protected by God. Seen in this way, the cover of the film takes on a completely different meaning, certainly coherent!

Flamin'Hot review: a spicy film…but not too much!

The difficult world of work | Flamin’Hot review

Sadly we have to say, the reality is much harsher than that. Richard Montañez has nothing to offer the world of work but his willingness to commit to his job, to his fullest potential, yet, here come the possibilities.. The theme of work is, especially today, deeply felt, especially for the younger ones who struggle to find their own way and make their way in a world that gives nothing away, in which it is necessary to elbow and constantly demonstrate that you are the best and deserve a work place. But what happens to those who are not better than the others or do not have the right knowledge behind them?

Precisely at this point Flamin’Hot sins of excessive simplicity in resolving such a thorny issue. Montañez is stubborn, he doesn’t stop in front of a no, because he is convinced he can go far and refuses to think that the position that the others have decided for him is the right one. Montañez is right to think so, so much so that with his own strength and that of his ethnic group, he proves he can do great things. A positive idea, which waves the banners of meritocracy, making people believe that all this is possible and above all, easy. Instead, we cannot hide that cases like those of the protagonist exist in real life, but they are very rare, especially in this historical period where even a young man with a good education is floundering. In this way, a film that could have turned out to be a manifesto against favoritism becomes, reluctantly, anachronistic.

Flamin'Hot review: a spicy film…but not too much!


The time has come to sum up what, despite its shortcomings, has turned out to be a sweet film and certainly capable of entertaining. Accomplice a protagonist who probably many would like to have as a friend and the celebration of Latin culture: its values, its beliefs and, of course, its food. It’s a real shame, however, that this film doesn’t have that extra spicy note, able to show us a more realistic story, in which not all issues can be resolved easily. Because perhaps this is exactly what the viewer is looking for; it is not enough that the protagonist is similar to them, even the situations in which he is placed must be compelling. Here lies the difference in finishing the film thinking “I can do it too!” and not “In past years, making your dreams come true was possible!”

Despite this flaw, the film is not without important points. First among all the importance of believing in yourself and in your abilities, even against the thought of others. True modern heroes are those who are not discouraged in the face of obstacles, but continue to be themselves and demonstrate their worth, keeping their dignity firmly in place, even in the face of a hostile context. But that is not all; Flamin’Hot carries with it a great message of revenge for all those who carry out jobs deemed unrewarding. The film celebrates these people, their dignity, but also their dreams and desires, recalling how essential their work is.

A pleasant film, but which could have been more daring!

Plus points

  • The sympathy with which Latin American culture is paid homage;
  • The ironic style that characterizes the narration makes the film pleasant and smooth;
  • The protagonist immediately enters the sympathy of the public.

Points against

  • Some issues are tackled too easily, suggesting too simplistic solutions;
  • The film may appear, in many respects, anachronistic.

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