Lately I've seen a lot of press about ABCs DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and its star, Eva Longoria. I've not seen the show, but I later read about her and SENORITA JUSTICE in a movie mag, so I got curious, and bought this film largely to see what all the fuss was about.
First off, although SENORITA JUSTICE's marketing touts Eva Longoria as one of the stars, she only has about 5 minutes of screen time. And even then, she's mainly listening to her partner cop. Longoria has barely any lines.
This is typical of how many films are (bogusly) marketed. One of the bit players in a film becomes a star, so the film is re-released to capitalize on that stardom. So if you're a Longoria fan, you may be disappointed in SENORITA JUSTICE.
Actually, the film is disappointing on other levels too. The production values look like a shot-on-video/direct-to-video grade Z effort. So too the acting, which is very stilted in many scenes, such as when the star (Edith Gonzalez) learns that her brother is dead, and she "breaks down" into tears. I'm guessing Gonzalez mainly gets cast based on her looks, because her acting isn't very credible.
Longoria's acting is more comfortable (less wooden) but she doesn't get a chance to act much.
The story's about a female Cuban-American lawyer (Gonzalez) who "escaped the neighborhood" by getting a law degree and a "rich white boyfriend." This causes resentment when she returns to the 'hood.
She does so because she's also an ex-cop, so when her gangsta brother is killed, she comes back to the 'hood to take revenge. She engages in a lot of fistacuffs with whole groups of male gangstas, and I just couldn't buy that she'd be that tough. In the end, a female Yakuzi assassin is sent from Japan to kill her, and they engage in what's supposed to be a supreme battle, but is actually pretty tame.
The images are pretty flatly lit, in that low-budget direct-to-video manner. However, a few of the shots are nice, and it's mostly well edited (such as when two people are talking, there are shots, we cut to black, see images from the past, then we return and see that one of the people has been shot and has seen his life "flash before his eyes."
The writing and motivations are less credible. One girl in the 'hood hates Gonzalez because she's in love with the same man), but when Gonzalez plans to leave the 'hood, the girl lectures Gonzalez about being a coward and running away. It's all contradictory to her character, but I guess the writer wanted to get that speech in.
Later, another cop engages in murder (killing a bad guy from behind, instead of yelling "freeze") and this is supposed to be both realistic and heroic. It's not, but it's one of the many unrealistic events that made it hard to suspend disbelief."
Not a great film, but okay in a low-budget sort of way.