GRINGO – A Review by Cynthia Flores
The word Gringo is Spanish slang, usually derogatory, used in Spain or Latin America to describe foreigners, especially when of English or American origin. The new film Gringo by Director Nash Edgerton is just a fun ride at the movies.
The film tells the story of likeable good guy, Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo), who emigrated from Nigeria. He works hard at his buddy Richard’s (Joel Edgerton) pharmaceutical company, Cannabix Technologies, and is married to a now thin and beautiful American woman, Bonnie (Thandie Newton). His wife is driving him into bankruptcy with her interior design company costs and all the while having an affair with his boss and friend Richard. At work he’s treated badly by co-president Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron), who’s a big boozer that's used to using her looks and bawdy talk to get what she wants. For the moment, that happens to be Richard. They are the perfect couple of self serving, indulgent corporate types that you love to hate. Some of their dialogue towards people, especially when they visit their factory in Mexico, is so rude and offensive that it’s hilarious. It just keeps the audience hating them all the more.
The company has developed the “Weed Pill,” medical marijuana that has been put into pill form. Because of this they are poised to merge with a bigger company and make millions. Harold finds out about the possible merger and they lie to his face about it and the impending layoffs.
They all three take a trip to the manufacturing plant in Mexico, Harold thinks it’s a routine trip to figure out why there are shortages on the manifest logs. He’s been kept in the dark by Elaine and Richard to the fact that they’ve been skimming off the top to sell to a drug cartel headed up by the man they call the Black Panther. The company needed the cash flow at the time, however now that they’re about to merge with another company they tell the laboratory manager to stop selling to the cartel. That sets into motion a lot of bad things, most of which happen to poor old Harold. While on the trip, his wife Face Times him and tells him she is leaving him for another man. Heartbroken, Harold decides there is nothing to go back home for so he stages his own kidnapping to get money from the firm. Not realizing that there are people really trying to kidnap him.
I don’t want to give everything away because I want you to see this film. Bottom line, the film Gringo is a funny movie about a good guy trying to be bad, and the truly bad guys getting what they deserve in the end. I call this kind of film a “popcorn movie.” You have fun while you're there then you don't think about it much afterwards, but it's a fun ride while it lasts.
I felt it did drag a bit in the middle and they could’ve shaved off at least fifteen minutes of side story, so for that reason alone I lowered the rating. Even with that fact, it's a lot of fun and you'll enjoy seeing it on the big screen. I give this film a solid B- Rating.
Directed by Nash Edgerton
Written By Anthony Tambakis, Matthew Stone,
Selig Rating B-
Running Time 1 hr 50 min
Dark Comedy/ Action
Wide Release March 9th
Starring: David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Thandie Newton, Amanda Seyfried
Movie Site: www.gringo-movie.com
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.