Flamin’ Hot is a Chicano-infused love letter to the dreamers, the hustlers, and all-around overachievers who never quit.
We review the 2023 Hulu and Disney+ film Flamin’ Hot, which does not contain significant spoilers.
Next comes Eva Longoria’s take on a man who invented a snack that his family and friends would enjoy. Flamin’ Hot is a Chicano-infused love letter to the dreamers, the hustlers, and all-around overachievers who never quit.
Flamin’ Hot (2023) Review and Plot Summary
Richard Montanez (Jesse Garcia) is a first-generation son of a Mexican immigrant and is raising his three children, along with his wife Judy (Annie Gonzalez). Richard has no high school diploma and struggles to find work after turning his life around to support his family. That’s when his cousin (Bobby Soto) lands him an interview at the Frito-Lay factory as a janitor.
At the Rancho Cucamonga plant, Richard refused to settle and began to learn every aspect of how the snacks were made. Then, after a video sent out by the company president, Roger Enrico (Tony Shalhoub), asking for ideas to spark sales after an economic decline, Montanez takes his shot. Richard invents a snack with a burning sensation that gives off a natural opioid rush (or endorphins) that sets, forgive the pun, the snack wars ablaze.
Flamin’ Hot is based on the memoir A Boy, a Burrito and a Cookie by Richard Montañez. This is a wonderful family film that everyone can enjoy, with themes of hard work, creativity, positive mindsets, and even community building and pride.
If you want a lesson, the source material’s inspiration was born from empowering the Chicano Movement.
That makes Flamin’ Hot a movie for people of Mexican descent to call their own, with widespread mass appeal. Sure, the story may be looked at through rose-colored glasses. It even may have the feel of Good Will Hunting, portraying the smartest person as the one cleaning Frito-Lay’s floors.
Yes, the story is conventional, I’m certainly skipping more significant struggles, and some characters are cartoonish. (That prize would go to Matt Walsh’s plant manager).
However, that hardly matters. In fact, if you love movies or just a good story, you must embrace genre films like this. With a winning performance by Garcia and Longoria’s keen eye for combining unique cultural details of the era and mainstream entertainment, Flamin’ Hot is the streaming film of the summer that’s not to be missed.
Is the 2023 film Flamin’ Hot good or bad?
Flamin’ Hot is a very good picture. While only some films can successfully combine humor, family, and inspiration, that’s where Flamin’ Hot makes its mark—the script by October Sky scribe Lewis Colick and Linda Yvette Chávez.
While the writing could have explored the mild controversy of who invented the snack, there are several. The story focuses on one man’s charm and dogged determination, which makes for a rousing and heartwarming story.
Is Flamin’ Hot Worth Watching?
Flamin’ Hot is worth watching despite sticking to a predictable but winning formula. A biographical dramedy that avoids cold corporate structures for the warm and vibrant embrace of family and community.
While another film can be made about the big business snack wars of the 90s, Eva Longoria’s film is a crowd-pleaser that everyone can enjoy. Montañez’s story is as American as the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos itself.
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