Netflixable? A Mexican comic “Thelma & Louise” times two — “Queens on the Run”

“Queens on the Run” is a dainty little Mexican marzipan comedy — sort of sweet in the most predictable ways, lighter-than-lightweight and rarely funny.

It’s a “wives bonding” road picture, a little heavy on the “Thelma & Louise,” pero medio culo, as they say in Olde México, in terms of script and execution. “Half-assed.”

Four bored México City women — three of them in marriages of varying degrees of frustration, the other an arrested development case with a Grindr and pink hair dye fixation, pile into a ’64 Ford Fairlane convertible named “Corcholata” (Bottle cap, amigos!) and bomb off for the coast — to Cancún.

Marilu (Alejandra Ambrosi) has two kids and a distracted workaholic husband who has forgotten their anniversary for four years running. So she’s in.

Famela (Paola Núñez) is more happily married, trying to have a baby and wearing out her husband in the process. He, by the way, is in business with Marilu’s husband/marido.

Glamorous writer Paty (screenwriter Martha Higareda) is married to a famous politician and constantly getting botox and “las boobies” worked on, but now her “chi chis” (Mexican slang for “las boobies”) are uneven. Her husband might be cheating.

And single free spirit Estrella (Valeria Vera) is the one who owns Corcholata the red Fairlane ragtop.

Estrella suggests the road trip to her fellow “reinas”(queens). Baby-obsessed Famela has been equally obsessed with her late mother, and thinks scattering Mom’s ashes in the Caribbean would be just the thing. The other two join in with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

They’ have their first mishap during their first sing-along (Shania Twain, of course), are attacked by a chicken truck stampede during a traffic jam, flash a Jeepload of fetching chicos and make their merry way, even picking up a hitchhiker (Claudia Pineda) as if there’s another item to check off their bucket list.

But we’ve seen the heavy-handed forshadowing, all the TV reporting about the drug importer/gun trafficker named El Gavilán or “The Hawk” (Enrique Arreola) like the song. We know they’re about to cross paths. But we have no idea how ham-handedly co-star and screenwriter Higareda will manage that unlikely encounter.

Somehow, these “queens” have to be put “on the run if “Fuga de Reinas” is to achieve its titular destiny.

The screenplay is cut-and-paste, start to finish, with some of the pastes having little connection to logic. The slapstick is OK, what few instances of it we’re treated to. The “girl bonding” stuff is pro forma, and the perils are poorly handled, at least on the page.

But the players are all-in, right through the “impersonate pole dancers” climax, and a couple of moments deliver giggles. Famela is EVER so irked when El Gavilán and his sidekick POINTLESSLY steal the urn with her mother’s ashes. A deranged car chase with gunplay ensues.

And when forgetful hubby Jose arranges a mariachi band at the last minute to serenade his (missing) wife, and the players are all drunk, that’s kind of funny.

The rest? Kind of off-a-cliff, if you know your “Thelma & Louise” analogies.

Rating: TV-MA, violence, near nudity, sexual content, profanity

Cast: Paola Núñez, Alejandra Ambrosi, Martha Higareda, Valeria Vera, Claudia Pineda and Enrique Arreola.

Credits: Directed by Jorge Macaya, scripted by
Martha Higareda. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:36

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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