Bang Bang Betty: Valerie’s Revenge Image

Bang Bang Betty: Valerie’s Revenge

By Bobby LePire | April 9, 2024

After viewing co-writer/director Alexander T. Hwang and co-writer Chris Kato’s action thriller Bang Bang Betty: Valerie’s Revenge, one question lingers: precisely who is Betty? The lead here is a cop named Valerie. Granted, this is a sequel to Bang Bang Betty, but that plot synopsis reveals the leading lady is named Kiara. And the one character it could be, Beatriz, is killed in the first 10 minutes here. So, precisely, who is Betty? More importantly, why all this rambling about a title that holds little bearing on the film at hand? Well, because this is an excellent movie, and there’s little else to harp on.

Valerie (Emily Rose Hernandez) is deep undercover to bring down a cartel operating in the United States. Unfortunately, things go pear-shaped, and her partner in life and on the force, Beatriz (Alexandra Dolin), is killed, and Valerie is near-fatally wounded. Once out of the hospital, she vows revenge and uses everything at her disposal — informants, allies, guns, wiles, and good looks — to track down the boos of the cartel, Sanchez (Hector Soria).

Meanwhile, Juliana (Marila Lombrozo) finally works up the courage to leave her husband, Hugo (Charles Chudabala), one of Sanchez’s dealers. Upon walking out, she steals millions of dollars, leaving Hugo stuck in a terrible position. Now, Sanchez and his men are searching for loot while Valerie is circling in on them. Will this be another bloodbath or is Valerie fully prepared to deliver justice this time?


Once out of the hospital, she vows revenge…”

Non-existent Bettys aside, Bang Bang Betty: Valerie’s Revenge is a rip-roaring good time. Simone Cilio’s score is punchy and frenetic, perfectly matching the swift pacing. The editing by Joseph Seung Lee is frantic but not confusing. The numerous locales—poolside fun, drug warehouses, and a veterans’ homeless shelter, among others—offer variety while still making sense with the story at hand. Director of photography Adam Beck captures all the craziness and wild action with style and dynamism.

Hernandez is brilliant as the fiercely determined protagonist. She handles the action well, sells how seriously she takes the mission and is just a badass all the way around. Soria is despicable in the best possible way. A speech he gives to his father about mansions (no spoilers), rings true in a demented sort of way. Lombrozo is heartbreaking as the grieving, paranoid mother. Chudabala makes his rationale for working for Sanchez believable. Gerald Parrish plays an important character named Ray, and he is funny and dramatic in equal measure.

But Bang Bang Betty: Valerie’s Revenge is an action flick and, therefore, lives or dies by its action scenes. No worries there, as Hwang delivers some of the best shoot-outs in indie cinema history. Yes, the digital squibs look meh, but the blocking, editing, and cinematography negate this understandable flaw. Every punch, kick, gun battle, and chase is breathtaking. The sheer volume of action beats is also surprising, given the budgetary constraints.

Bang Bang Betty: Valerie’s Revenge is straight-up awesome. The cast is great, and the editing and cinematography are terrific. The action sequences, and there’s a whole lot of them, are all exhilarating in their own right. When coupled with the solid story, all these elements make for a wonderful feature. Still, precisely who is Betty?

Bang Bang Betty: Valerie's Revenge (2024)

Directed: Alexander T. Hwang

Written: Alexander T. Hwang, Chris Kato

Starring: Emily Rose Hernandez, Marila Lombrozo, Hector Soria, Gerald Parrish, Charles Chudabala, Alexandra Dolin, etc.

Movie score: 9.5/10

Bang Bang Betty: Valerie's Revenge Image

"…straight-up awesome."

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