Flamin' Hot I Review by: Benjamin Garrett


2023: The year of corporation and product based biopics. Air, Tetris, BlackBerry, and now… Flamin’ Hot. Yeah, we really got a feature length film about those spicy little corn snacks you know and love. Hold on, though. Don’t be so quick to brush this movie off like Cheeto dust from your fingers. This underdog story has enough flavour to make for a nice little treat.  

The movie isn’t really about the iconic chili-dusted snack at all. No, this (partly) true story follows the son of a Mexican immigrant, who was filled with enough passion, determination and drive to carve a name for himself in the American food industry.  Richard Montañez was a janitor at Frito Lay, and saw potential for the company’s next big product. Despite facing discrimination for his race and lowly job status, he kept fighting. Being told from Richard’s perspective gives this movie the personal and heartfelt angle it needs to be a real crowd-pleaser. The stakes couldn’t be lower for Frito Lay, but this is Richard’s story, and for him, this means everything. If you look at the chip shelf in any grocery story today, you know how this story ends. 

The tone is upbeat and energetic, due in large to a wonderfully charismatic lead performance from Jesse Garcia. He lends so much heart to this movie, giving Richard such a winning personality, that you can’t help but love him. His narration and own “interpretation” of how events unfolded is a lot of fun, and keeps the story from veering into dull corporate or melodramatic territory.

Flamin’ hot borders on dangerously cheesy, but that’s a big part of why this heartwarming underdog story works. It doesn’t have much in the way of cinematic nutritional value, but thanks to a delightful performance from Jesse Garcia, it’s inspired and passionate enough to get by. 


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