Saturday, June 15, 2024

‘Flamin’ Hot’: A Sizzling and Spicy Tale of Success and Overcoming Adversity

Jesse Garcia and Dennis Haysbert in FLAMIN’ HOT. Photo by Anna Kooris. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Where to Watch: Hulu or Disney+

Date of Release: June 6th

Length of Time: 1hr 39mins

Starring: Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez, Dennis Haysbert, Emilio Rivera, Tony Shalhoub, Matt Walsh, Bobby Soto, Jimmy Gonzales, and Brice Gonzalez

Synopsis: This is the inspiring true story of Richard Montañez who, as a Frito Lay factory janitor, disrupted the food industry by channeling his Mexican heritage to turn Flamin’ Hot Cheetos from a snack into an iconic global pop culture phenomenon.

Flamin’ Hot is a movie that will spice up your life! The biographical drama tells the inspiring true story of Richard Montañez, the son of Mexican immigrants who went from janitor to executive at Frito-Lay by creating one of the company’s most successful products – Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Directed by Eva Longoria and starring Jesse Garcia as Montañez, the film takes viewers on a heartwarming journey of perseverance, passion, and ingenuity. We see Montañez facing adversity at every turn, but he never gives up on his dreams of success. The movie explores the complexities of identity, race, and class, all while celebrating the power of determination to overcome obstacles. In my opinion, this is why the film is so relatable to its viewers. 

One of the standout performances in the film is given by Annie Gonzalez who portrays Montañez’s supportive wife, Judy. The chemistry between Garcia and Gonzales is palpable, and their relationship serves as a testament to the power of partnership in achieving success. During my interview with producer DeVon Franklin, he mentioned the importance of Richard’s support from his wife and how vital she was to his success. 

Annie Gonzalez, in FLAMIN’ HOT. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Another performance I applauded was by veteran actor Dennis Haysbert who plays Clarence C. Baker, another supporting and encouraging character who helped Richard in his pursuit of success. The chemistry between Haysbert and Garcia was a bromance for which I couldn’t help but cheer. I could see a hint of Pedro Cerrano, whom Haysbert played in Major League and Major League II

Brice Gonzalez (who plays Richard’s son) was adorable in this film, especially when he tried out the samples of Flamin’ Hot recipes. It brought me back to my childhood and my own reaction to tasting the spicy snack for the first time. His character added some cute heart-warming moments to the film. Also, how much Richard’s kids loved and believed in him was beautiful to see onscreen.

Flamin’ Hot also boasts impressive visuals with stunning cinematography perfectly capturing the film’s vibrant energy. There are plenty of mouth-watering shots of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos that will leave viewers craving a bag of their own by the end of the movie. I know I did! It’s worth mentioning how Longoria makes the challenging flashback scenes and transitions work, a testament to her directorial skills. I’d say Longoria had a successful debut as a director and I look forward to checking out her future projects.

Overall, Flamin’ Hot is a film that will leave you feeling inspired and uplifted. It’s a celebration of the American dream and a testament to the power of hard work and ingenuity. If you’re looking for a movie that will ignite your passion for life, Flamin’ Hot is one to watch.

Dapper Dr Feel

Felipe Patterson aka Dapper Dr. Feel, #BlackLoveConvo & Entertainment | @fdapperdr Dapper Dr. Feel is a Entertainment journalist and member of the Critics Choice Association and African American Film Association.

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