Flamin’ Hot is the Unlikely Origin Story of Your Favorite Snack

Flamin Hot Review
Jesse Garcia in FLAMIN’ HOT. Photo by Emily Aragones. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

It seems unlikely that there would be a movie made about one of the most popular snack foods on shelves. But there constantly are movies about how famous shoes (Air), designer clothing, and even As Seen on TV products are made (Joy). However, when the story is not only a rags to riches type story, but an underdog one rolled into one – the story behind the spicy snacks is one that is perfect to be told.

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos first hit the market in 1991, but the story about the man who created them and helped them get a large segment of the market isn’t well known. After years of struggling, Richard Montañez became the janitor at Frito Lays and went out of his way to learn different aspects of the job and even found a mentor along the way. And when the recession in the 80s put his job at risk, he took the initiative to create a product that could not only regain the jobs lost by his coworkers but also help reach an untapped market with the Latino community in his area and nationwide.

Tony Shalhoub in FLAMIN’ HOT. Photo by Anna Kooris. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

While the movie focuses on the creation of the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and the journey to the popularity they have today – it really is Richard Montañez’s story. How Montañez went from working in a field to a life of crime and how he turned that around to become the successful man he is today. It doesn’t hide the racial inequality he faced from childhood on, the abuse he endured, or even the crimes of his past. But instead, shows that despite all of that he endured and took a chance on his idea, and ran straight into success.

This isn’t the story of someone who had everything handed to them and who made a product that people like. It’s the story of a man that in spite of his struggles created an iconic product that dominates the market today. The movie has a lot of heart, great storytelling and a focus on family. And viewers are going to want to grab their favorite snacks to enjoy this short, fun film.

Jesse Garcia and Dennis Haysbert in FLAMIN’ HOT. Photo by Anna Kooris. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Flamin’ Hot is really an unlikely movie story, but one that is translated perfectly for the screen. The only injustice to this movie is it is getting a streaming release rather than one on a big screen. The story is well told, engaging, and one that a variety of audiences will find interesting and inspiring. It keeps your attention better than many of the mainstream movie releases in theaters and is one that audiences will want to tune into and watch again. It touches on important topics, brings a real-life story to the screen and doesn’t sugarcoat the bad along the way.

Grab your Cheetos, Flamin’ Hot will be streaming on Hulu and Disney+ on June 9th.

Overall Rating:

Four and a half Star Review

About Flamin’ Hot:

Flamin Hot

Flamin’ Hot is the story of Richard Montañez, the Frito Lay janitor who channeled his Mexican American heritage and upbringing to turn Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into a snack that disrupted the food industry and became a global phenomenon.

Directed by Eva Longoria

Starring Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzalez, Tony Shalhoub, Dennis Haysbert, Emilio Rivera, Lora Martinez-Cunningham, and Bobby Soto

(Searchlight Pictures)

Rated PG-13


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.