Right off the bat, I’ll admit the trailer for ‘Gringo’ didn’t do much for me. It seemed like the kind of comedy that wouldn’t make me laugh too much. After seeing it, my initial thoughts were right, I didn’t laugh that much. But, that’s because, despite the trailer suggesting otherwise, this is much more of drama with a story compared to a laugh out loud comedy.
We follow Harold (David Oyelowo) on a series of mishaps in Mexico whilst his very corrupt company aim to being selling a new weed pill. When each part of the story happens, it does become rather clear where the film is heading to, but it’s an enjoyable journey. That’s partially down to the pacing and marketing of this film being rather weird. You know the premise going in, but none of this happens until around half hour in and even when it does, it’s very different to what you expected. That means at the start we are introduced to a host of subplots you probably aren’t expecting. That’s quite an important thing to know going in as it may put some off. In fact I had around five people walk out of my screening. Perhaps as I didn’t like the trailer I enjoyed it being somewhat different.
It’s definitely not a film for everyone but it’s positives outweighs the negatives for me.
With the surprisingly star studded cast, ‘Gringo’ is a lot better than it deserved to be. Joel Edgerton is brilliant as the sleazy Richard Rusk and Sharlto Copley is as good as ever as Mitch but the standout is Charlize Theron. She clearly loving her role and consistently has the funniest lines. She absolutely owns the role. On the flip side, Thandie Newton feels wasted as Harold’s wife Bonnie and while Amanda Seyfried is good as Sunny, her storyline genuinely feels like it could’ve been removed and the film wouldn’t have suffered that much.
‘Gringo’ has a lot that works and a lot that doesn’t. It’s definitely not a film for everyone but it’s positives outweighs the negatives for me. The one element where it doesn’t let itself down too much is the story. Yes there are issues with it but it managed to hold my attention and, more importantly, make me care what the outcome was.