review by Bobby Blakey
In a world of big budget sequels, remakes and over the top productions I love when films with great casts come out of nowhere with a spark of something that could work. The latest looks to be the film Gringo from director Nash Edgerton, who made his feature length directorial debut with the acclaimed Australian thriller The Square and stars David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Yul Vazquez, Thandie Newton, and Sharlto Copley, but does it offer up that special something worth watching or will it get stuck across the border?
Gringo follows American businessman Harold Soyinka who crosses the line from citizen to criminal as he tangles with duplicitous business partners, Mexican drug lords, international mercenaries, and the DEA. As he attempts to survive in one of the most dangerous places on earth, the question lingers: is this ordinary man in way over his head, or is he two steps ahead? I was really eager to see this film if for nothing else than the great cast and I was not disappointed although it wasn’t quite the film I thought it was going to be.
From the trailers I guess I expected more of a comedy here and while there are numerous comedic moments it plays a lot darker than I thought. This isn’t a bad thing at all as it gave me a great unexpected experience with the film. The story is pretty straight forward as the trailer pointed out, but as simple as it is it still managed to offer up more layers than I thought. I will say that at times it felt a bit all over the place as it was trying to bring multiple stories together which it did, but some of it could have likely been trimmed back to make for a smoother overall direction.
The cast are all great with the always great Oyelowo carrying the heavy load and knocking it out of the park. Both Edgerton and Theron bring a great chemistry to their roles that offer up some fun characters that you just can’t help but dislike in the best way possible. I love Sharlto Copley and his role here is over the top and perfect. He steals every scene he is in and I was bummed he wasn’t in the film more.
In the end this might not be a film for everyone, but I really enjoyed it and am glad to see it getting one more push through Amazon. The film is currently already on Blu-ray and DVD, but fans can check out the Amazon Prime Original when it hits the streaming service on August 17th.