Thursday, September 8, 2016

Movie Review #483: "No Manches Frida" (2016)

Movie"No Manches Frida"
Director: Nacho G. Velilla
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
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While Zequi (Omar Chaparro) served his prison sentence for robbery, his friend buried his loot outside of a local high school. Unfortunately, by the time Zequi gets out of jail, a new gymnasium has been built on top of his money. He winds up getting a job as a substitute teacher so he can gain access to the school and dig a tunnel to his fortune after hours, but during the day, he must deal with the school's rambunctious students.

"No Maches Frida" is a Spanish language film directed by Nacho G. Velilla. It is a remake of the German comedy "Fack ju Göhte." It stars Omar Chaparro as Zequi, an ex-con looking to get his hands on the loot from the heist that landed him prison. His accomplice, a ditzy stripper, buried the fortune outside of a local high school. While serving his sentence, the school constructed a new gymnasium right on top of his stash of cash. In order to get his dough back, Zequi's bright idea is to get hired as a janitor and dig a tunnel to his money. Due to a mix-up, he gets hired as a substitute teacher instead. At night, Zequi digs his tunnel, but during the day, he has to deal with the unruly students of classroom 4B at the Frida Khalo school, students who are determined to make his life as difficult as possible.

Much of what happens in the early portion of "No Manches Frida" feels like the type of humor you would see on a afternoon sitcom on the CW or TBS. Undisciplined kids play nasty pranks on their teachers while the school administrator sits idly by and just shrugs her shoulders, flat out telling the teachers it's their problem and that it's their job to control them. This rowdy, unruly bunch gets worse before it is able to get better, going as far as vandalizing property and people to get their point across: no teacher is going to stop them from being brats. Of course, what these kids need is a firm hand, and again, Zequi's bright idea is to shoot some of them in the head with a paintball gun. He also takes the route of letting them be scared into behaving by introducing them to drug addicts, those living in squalor, and drug dealers. The rest of the film revolves around a romantic comedy in the style of "She's All That," where the nerdy hot-ugly female teacher wants to date her charming, handsome bad boy coworker and figures she can change to get him to notice. This once caring, dorky teacher stops worrying about pesky things like her students, and once she puts it all on the line and she finally gets a makeover, now, she is the sexiest person in school. And of course, she doesn't have her glasses anymore. It helps that Chaparro and Martha Higareda have good chemistry together, but it's just not enough to make us forget how incredibly dull and expected it is.

"No Manches Frida" is filled with so many genre tropes and clichés, we almost started to think it was done intentionally, as if this entire film is merely a parody or genre spoof. Plus, we know how it's going to end within the first five minutes, so this only adds to the predictability. Even though some of the actors can be charming despite the film's over-the-top content, as a whole, this is probably one you can skip.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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