×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film Review: ‘No Manches Frida 2’

Thief-turned-teacher Zequi competes to save his relationship, and his school, at a beach-resort competition in this dreary sequel.

Director:
Nacho G. Velilla
With:
Omar Chaparro, Martha Higareda, Aaron Díaz, Itatí Cantoral, Regina Pavón, Mario Moran, Memo Dorantes
Release Date:
Mar 15, 2019

Rated R  1 hour 42 minutes

Official Site: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9019352/

For proof of American cinema’s global reach, look no further than “No Manches Frida 2,” which like its 2016 predecessor hews to a tried-and-true Hollywood comedy formula, albeit one embellished with distinctly Mexican flavor. Bright, crude and aggressively hackneyed, director Nacho G. Velilla’s follow-up prizes energy over originality. While its humor elicits far more eye-rolls than laughs — and will thus leave franchise newbies cold — its high-octane style should appeal to fans of the first film when it opens nationwide in theaters on March 15, courtesy of Pantelion Films.

In the original “No Manches Frida” (which was a remake of the 2013 German hit “Fack ju Göhte,” and whose title roughly translates to “WTF, Frida”), thief-turned-teacher Zequi (Omar Chaparro) saved Frida Kahlo High School by turning around its wayward students, and successfully wooed nerdy colleague Lucy (Martha Higareda). Now set to marry Lucy, Zequi finds his life in ruins due to a vomitus mishap at the altar. Compounding that calamity, Frida Kahlo High is once again on the verge of being shut down. Under the guidance of stern new principal Regina (Andrea Noli), a long-shot solution is proffered: win an inter-school competition held at a luxury beach resort, and the department of education will forget about foreclosure.

This makes no logical sense, and neither does the fact that the tournament has nothing to do with academics; rather, it’s a collection of volleyball, chess and dance contests, the school’s strategy for the last of which is assigned to an unwitting Zequi. Most of these matches pit Frida Kahlo’s misfit kids against the evil preppies of St. James, led by selfie-obsessed hunk Mario (Aaron Diaz) — who, it just so happens, is Lucy’s ex-boyfriend, and is soon putting the moves on her. Zequi thus finds himself fighting on two fronts, even as Lucy’s sister Laura (Carla Adell) worries about sleeping with Cristoba (Mario Moran), lest she lose him to rival hotties; and Lucy’s colleague Camilla (Itatí Cantoral) gets drunk and tries to entice any man within earshot with dirty propositions.

“No Manches Frida 2” is a cornucopia of commotion, with brawls, dance-offs, pranks, partying and other assorted hijinks strewn throughout. Director Velilla cuts storytelling corners at every opportunity, the better to maintain a swift, lively pace. From a formal standpoint, his Skittles-hewed visuals — which lean heavily on music montages and fast-forwarding aerial drone shots — lend the proceedings a style reminiscent of “High School Musical.” And like that Disney franchise, his sequel relocates the action from the classroom to an oceanfront getaway, and climaxes with an enthusiastic musical number that resolves all conflicts.

Though it’s constructed like an over-the-top cartoon and marked by an underlying chasteness, “No Manches Frida 2” marries its juvenile corniness with regular doses of adult-oriented crassness involving strippers, underage boozing and — lamest of all — Cantoral’s orgiastic moaning during a conversation about first-time sexual encounters. David S. Olivas, Claudio Herrera and Sergio Adrian Sánchez’s script never comfortably mixes its divergent comic tropes. Instead, it tries to compensate for the dissonance with breakneck speed, refusing to let any scene, or plot point, stick around long enough for viewers to contemplate their irrationality.

Still, the central problem of “No Manches Frida 2” isn’t a lack of tonal or narrative coherence; it’s a dearth of funny scenes and a preponderance of one-dimensional characters whose entire personalities can be gleaned by looking at their pose on the film’s theatrical poster. Higareda and Chaparro smile and scowl with relish, but all the wide-eyed mugging in the world can’t enliven this hyperactive grab bag of romantic clichés and penis jokes.

Film Review: 'No Manches Frida 2'

Reviewed at AMC 34th Street 14, New York, March 14, 2019. Rated R. Running time: 102 MIN.

Production: A Pantelion Films release of a Lionsgate production in association with Alcon Entertainment, Neverending Media, Selva Pictures, Constantin Film Production. Producers: Edward Allen, Martha Higareda, Mauricio Argüelles, Nacho G. Velilla. Executive producers: Martin Moszkowicz, Clifford Werber, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Laurence Rosenthal, Fernando Lebrija. Co-producer: Aaron Rivera-Ashford.

Crew: Director: Nacho G. Velilla. Screenplay: David S. Olivas, Claudio Herrera, Sergio Adrian Sánchez. Camera (color, widescreen, HD): David Omedes. Editor: Angel Hernandez Zoido. Music: Juan José Javierre.

With: Omar Chaparro, Martha Higareda, Aaron Díaz, Itatí Cantoral, Regina Pavón, Mario Moran, Memo Dorantes

More Film

  • AMMAN, JORDAN - MAY 13: Naomi

    After Hosting 'Aladdin' 'Star Wars' and 'Dune' Jordan Ups Production Rebates (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jordan is raising its cash back rebate for film and TV productions from 20% to 25% after recently hosting Disney’s ‘Aladdin,’ “Star Wars IX, The Rise of Skywalker,” and the Denis Villeneuve-directed “Dune” reboot. Concurrently, the kingdom, which provides one of the few stable environments for filmmaking in the Middle East, has reinstated the Jordan Film [...]

  • Benedict Cumberbatch stars in The Current

    Benedict Cumberbatch's 'Current War' Gets Awards-Season Release

    David Glasser’s 101 Studios is positioning the long-shelved and revamped “The Current War,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon, for an awards-season release in October. 101 Studios announced Tuesday that the film would open in limited release on Oct. 4, then go wide on the following weekend. The film presents the story of the “war [...]

  • Just Cause

    'Just Cause' Video Game Getting Movie Adaptation From 'John Wick' Writer

    “Just Cause” is the latest video game getting the movie treatment. Germany’s Constantin Film has acquired movie rights to the “Just Cause” video game franchise and hired “John Wick” creator Derek Kolstad to write the script. Constantin Film’s Robert Kulzer and Prime Universe Films’ Adrian Askarieh will produce the pic with Kolstad, who has written [...]

  • Cannes: Florence Pugh, Francois Civil Honored

    Florence Pugh, Francois Civil Honored With Chopard Award for Rising Talent

    Rising British actress Florence Pugh (“Lady Macbeth”) and French actor Francois Civil (“Wolf’s Call”) received the Chopard Trophy Award at a star-studded ceremony hosted by Chopard on Monday during the Cannes Film Festival. Pugh and Civil were chosen among many actors by a jury consisting of former Chopard Trophy recipients such as Marion Cotillard, Gael [...]

  • Belle Epoque

    Pathé Sells ‘La Belle Epoque’ to Half the World

    French sales, distribution and production company Pathé has closed a raft of sales deals on three titles at the Cannes Film Market: “La Belle Epoque,” “Misbehaviour” and project “Eifel.” The company will handle distribution in France and Switzerland on all three. Nicolas Bedos’ “La Belle Epoque,” which screened out of competition at the festival, is [...]

  • Editorial use only. /NO SALESMandatory Credit:

    Cirque du Soleil Partners With 'Aladdin' Producer Rideback on Projects

    Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is partnering with Rideback, producer of “Aladdin,” “It” and the Lego franchise, to develop movies inspired by the Cirque du Soleil catalogue. The partnership, announced Tuesday, aims to leverage Rideback’s track record and increase the opportunities for a global audience to enjoy the Cirque du Soleil universe. “Cirque du Soleil [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content