“Gringo” stars David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Thandie Newton, and Sharlto Copley. Released on March 9, 2018, the film is about a businessman who winds up in hot water during his business trip to Mexico.
The film features the directorial debut of Nash Edgerton (Joel Edgerton’s brother), a stuntman for films like Superman Returns, Knight and Day, and The Equalizer. This next film I’ll be reviewing before my week-long vacation might be a bit more insane than a bunch of criminals robbing a bank during a Category 5 hurricane. So far, I have only seen Oyelowo act in dramas, so seeing him take on a comedic role should be an interesting change of pace for me. Even the film’s plot looks like it could have potential to fulfill his new direction. But will these things be enough to get people in their seats?
If you’ve been following the film’s marketing campaign for quite some time, you probably would’ve figured that it’s going to be a typical, laugh-a-minute comedy that follows this guy in Mexico who gets caught in one crazy situation after another. Well, it does give you that, but not in a way that you thought it would be. It is classified as a comedy, that’s for sure, but it is the type of comedy that attempts to balance the storytelling with the laughs. While that balance has its share of issues, there were a few moments that actually made it quite enjoyable. To its credit, the film had a pretty impressive cast of talented actors, with Oyelowo and Theron being the main highlights as Harold Soyinka and Elaine Markinson, respectively. Oyelowo’s first attempt in the comedy genre wasn’t able to provide a lot of big moments, but when he’s portraying a character who is having the worst case of bad luck, he fits the bill just fine. As for Theron herself, all I can say is that she’s a natural at portraying some feisty, yet sexy, characters. Sharlto Copley was also pretty entertaining as an ex-mercenary who is sent to rescue Harold and bring him back to the United States. The film’s effort in providing some humor was amusing for what it is, even though all of the comedic scenes were from the trailers. As for the flaws, I would say that its average story didn’t quite live up to its outrageous concept. There were a few occasions where the film was going to go down the crazy path, but then pulled itself back for the sake of not making itself too silly for its audience. So if you’re hoping that this is going to be another crazy R-rated comedy, prepare to get smacked in the face by a big plate of disappointment. The pacing in the film was surprisingly a bit slow during a few scenes, but it picked itself right back up afterwards.
Overall, “Gringo” offers a talented cast and a suitable amount of laughs, but its story wasn’t able to provide as much fun and insanity as the concept itself. It definitely has its moments that make it somehow enjoyable. It’s just the fact that it should’ve been like Game Night, where the concept and the plot have enough craziness to connect well with the film’s humor and the actors. But that’s just me. It’s a tolerable watch for people who like the actors that are in the film, but they probably won’t remember it in a few weeks or so.