Gringo: Film Review

Gringo has all the makings of a top-notch comedy – from a decent premise to a stellar cast – led by Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo and Joel Edgerton – but for some reason, it just fails to ignite.

Oyelowo is Harold, who works in middle management at a pharmaceutical company run by Elaine (Theron) and Richard (Edgerton). When on a work trip to a supplier in Mexico, Harold, who is seriously in debt, learns that Richard is not his friend, they are planning to fire him once a deal has come through and his wife Bonnie (Thandie Newton) is having an affair. He decides to fake his own kidnapping and call them up asking for a ransom.

While this is all going down, Elaine and Richard ask one of the bosses of their Mexico operation to stop supplying to The Black Panther, a drug lord. That does not sit well with the drugs kingpin and he believes Harold is to blame so he sends his guys on a mission to track him down.

As you can tell from that summary, there is A LOT going on in Gringo, probably too much. I haven’t even mentioned everything, just the basic idea. It needed simplifying because it was overcomplicated and there are too many characters to keep up with. For example, I have no idea what the point of Harry Treadaway and Amanda Seyfried‘s storyline was and that could easily have been cut to streamline the running time and to focus on the main arc.

This is a comedy mixed with a crime/action/thriller so it is not hitting you with the laughs all the time. There are a lot of comedy moments, great pieces of dialogue, and I found Oyelowo extremely funny, perhaps because I’m used to seeing him being so serious, but it isn’t THAT funny in general. And the whole plot just wasn’t that exciting, and I don’t know why because with that cast and concept (and the addition of Sharlto Copley) it should have been amazing.

Gringo, directed by Edgerton’s brother Nash, is just meh. It is fine, quite amusing, but not the riot I was hoping for.

In cinemas now 

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