Movie Review: Gringo - #GringoMovie

Release Date: March 9, 2018
Director/Producer: Nash Edgerton
Writers: Story by Matthew Stone / Screenplay by Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone
Producers: Rebecca Yeldham, Charlize Theron, Beth Kono, A.J.DIX, Anthony Tambakis
Cast: David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Thandie Newton and Sharlto Copley
An exhilarating mix of dark comedy, white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, Gringo joyrides into Mexico, where mild-mannered businessman Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) finds himself at the mercy of back-stabbing business colleagues back home, local drug lords and a morally conflicted black-ops mercenary. Crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal, Harold battles to survive his increasingly dangerous situation in ways that raise the question: Is he out of his depth — or two steps ahead?

All movies can’t be cinematic masterpieces which alter time and space as we know it. Some of the movies are enjoyable, exclusively, for the laughs.  And that’s a good thing.  This week’s Gringo is exactly that good thing.  

Gringo has a “fish out of water” theme.  A bunch of Americans, all with different intentions, find themselves in Mexico. While fish out of water has been done before, the all-star cast sets Gringo apart. David Oyelowo (as Harold) is great as the good-guy in the ensemble. Usually appearing in more dramatic roles, Oyelowo exhibits nice comedic chops and timing.  Oyelowo was completely believable and relatable as the good guy who is fed-up with coming in last.

Pit Oyelowo’s good guy against Charlize Theron’s (as Elaine) “all bad, all the time” girl, and the audience will not help laughing. The shock value of Theron’s character was awesome.  Elaine was one of those characters who says what other people think, but refuse to say, in public.  Loved how unabashed Theron was in her portrayal.  She went “there,” literally.  (That’s a little joke you will understand when you watch Gringo.)

From the Beatles-loving cartel boss (played by Carlos Corona) to the “used to be fat” wife (played by Thandie Newton) all of the characters were outrageous and enjoyable.  At one point, there are even two Lucha Libre mask-wearing  kidnappers who enter the mix of characters.  The plot was crazy.  It really was. But, the audience won’t care. Everyone will be too busy laughing.  The end of the movie was incredibly satisfying.

Now, a bit of a warning.  Gringo makes fun of everyone and everything.  It pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable behavior, and then it goes just past those. Gringo is not for people who are easily offended.  

That’s not to say that Gringo is perfect.  Joel Edgerton (as Richard) brings down the energy of the film and slows some of its momentum.  That was an issue, because the film is a little draggy in bits.  There is also a subplot with Amanda Seyfried (as Sunny) which is almost completely unnecessary. 

Still, Gringo was a perfect distraction, a funny break with reality.  There are few worthwhile films out in March.  Gringo is worth the time and energy.  Go see it. Take your friends.  Try not to blow your movie beverage out of your nose from the laughter. Gringo is playing everywhere now.

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