In a city where a badge and uniform are the tools used to enforce personal gain rather than law and order, Diego Muñoz’s third film Bala Mordida (Bitten Bullet) is a gritty, headlong dive into the world of rampant police corruption in one of Mexico’s thriving cities. With stellar performances by Miguel Rodarte as the newly promoted officer Mauro Hernandez and Damián Alcázar as the entertainingly evil Comandante Alatorre, Muñoz crafts a gripping tale of deception, desperation, and politics in a place where everyone is out to get as much as they can through any means necessary.
After a drug extortion gone wrong, Commandant Alatorre and his small group of officers are thrust into a chain of events that expose the ugly inner workings of law enforcement. In an attempt to cover up the messy extortion of a former police chief turned drug dealer that results in the loss of Officer Hernandez’s firearm, Commandant Alatorre and his small crew of officers lie, bribe, and muscle their way through the red tape of inner office politics and the gritty streets of the city. In the process, Officer Hernandez becomes a protégé of the Commandant who schools him on the fine points of civilian extortion, while showing him how to navigate both the system and the streets in order to reap all of its rewards.
In a broader sense, Bala Mordida is a social commentary on a political system that breeds and perpetuates criminal behavior amongst those that are supposed to be working for the greater good of the people. The film exposes the all too familiar notion in Latin America of “la mordida,” which refers to the practice of police officers extorting bribes from civilians, the shady dealings of big business, and a media outlet that’s more concerned with sensational stories than uncovering the truth. In the end, some pay the ultimate price for playing the game while others live another day to make another peso."