The last movie you expect to think of when you settle down to watch Flamin’ Hot (Disney+, available now) – the rags to riches story of the man behind said Cheeto flavouring – is Goodfellas. But the movie pays homage to Martin Scorsese’s gangster film in surprising ways.

One is that its main character, Richard Montañez, is actually, for a period, a gangster. With the help of a very Goodfellas-esque voiceover, the Mexican-American tells us his story, from a childhood on a “grape vineyard” in Guasti, California, through schooldays where he meets future wife Judy and hints at an entrepreneurial life ahead by hawking burritos in the lunch hall, through a shady period selling drugs.

His life of crime comes to an end when he bags a janitor job at Frito-Lay. Montañez spots a gap in the market for the spicy flavours beloved by his fellow Latino community and creates an apparently appealing “chilli slurry”. Director Eva Longoria demonstrates real flair with some sharp, witty montages – and even elegantly includes a brief history of the Chicano movement, and a critique of Reaganism (though PepsiCo and the corporate order come out very well).

Montañez’s success never feels seriously in doubt. But excellent performances and lively direction ensure viewers are rooting for him throughout this feelgood story.

But – and it’s quite a big ‘but’ – the story might not be true. The film hints at exaggerations on Montañez’s part, but a recent LA Times investigation suggests he can’t have come up with the flavour. The timeline is off and the facts are, at best, muddy. A fun film snack, then – but one that sits rather uneasily.