Gringo : It tries to recreate the nostalgic 90s-black comedy era but falls flat on its face
Movie Review by Anirudh Madhav (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Packed with action, humor and strong performances, Gringo tries to use all tropes of the Tarantino style of filmmaking. But sadly, lack of a strong focus, a mish-mash of characters and a weak storyline does no justice to the intention of bringing back a black comedy with a 90s vibe to life.
In simple terms, Gringo traces the story of Harold Soyinka (David Oyewolo), who works for a pharmaceutical company and is trapped in Mexico. He is pursued by gangs, who deal with drugs, owing to his affiliation with the pharmaceutical company. His boss Richard (Joel Edgerton) is ready to sell the company and his brother Mitch (Sharlto Copey), a drug cartel leader and other amateur gangs are in pursuit of Harold. In order to get out of the mess, Harold comes up with a unique plan.
Gringo is fast-paced but poorly written. Even though Oyewolo fits quite naturally into the skin of the lead protagonist Harold, it fails to strike a chord with the audience since it is poorly constructed character. Then there is the introduction of characters like Miles (Harry Treadaway) and Sunny (Amanda Seyfried) who have no real role in the screenplay of the movie and seem completely unnecessary to the plot. Director Nash Edgerton loses track of the storyline and seems to introduce characters just so that there is an element of surprise for the audience without giving them properly defined roles.
Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron) shines as the bold, sassy boss, who believes in engaging in ‘favors’ to jump up the corporate ladder but is full of self-loathing. Theron’s presence is electrifying and leaves a strong impact.
The movie touches upon the subject of state of Americans in Mexico and at times, takes a dig at the corporate culture there. While most of the movie is set in Mexico, it fails to utilize it as a backdrop since the film lacks the chaos-ridden magic of films shot in Mexico.
Gringo does entertain in parts and has some strong performances from the ensemble cast. However, the movie turns haywire; losing out on establishing depth of certain characters and leaves several plot holes. The fast-paced comedy-thriller ends up giving a one-sided perspective from the point of view of certain characters and ends on a pointless note.