This is why you want to win Drag Race. So this is about a nebbish teacher (Roy Haylock) who gets assigned to teach chemistry in a high school in one of the reddest counties in Texas. He’s timid and can’t contain the students, but he also is gay. He gets canned for this, which is apparently legal in Texas. He decides to don the persona of the much more blunt and upfront Bianca Del Rio and go back to work at the school as a woman. Can she make a difference in the lives of these kids? Now I actually do have a bit of familiarity with the drag world; my wife watches RuPaul’s Drag Race, which pretty much means that I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’ve essentially watched the past two seasons, so I believe I understand the culture, I just don’t have much familiarity with this queen specifically. This is the type of movie that I am happy to support for what it is, but judging it as a movie, it is about as paint-by-numbers as it can possibly be.
You can map out this entire movie as soon as the high heels come out.
Now apart from the drag angle, there just isn’t all that much to this. In fact, if you cut that out the cross dressing and lose the language, you would have a story that you could probably find on a Disney channel original movie. Everybody is cartoonish, playing caricatures of real people, and the film itself only has one speed: exaggerated and over the top. I had a fine time watching this, but quality wise, it is on par with one of the parody films they shoot on Drag Race. Those are fine for a 3-4 minute short, but when you stretch it to an 80 minute feature, you’re pushing it past capacity.
Although there is something about adults insulting high schoolers that I find funnier than it ought to be.
I did think that this got better once she got into drag in the story, and you can tell that Haylock feels more comfortable in her skin as Bianca. The story hits every single note that you’re expecting it to hit; you know the ones who scheme selfish plots are going to get their comeuppance, and the people who showed a hint of being able to keep an open mind are going to learn a giant lesson about acceptance at the end. It’s really one of the most niche movies out there: it is specifically for people who are fans of not only RuPaul’s Drag Race, but RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6.
Hurricane Bianca (2016) **1/2
– Critic for Hire