Title – Gringo (2018)
Director – Nash Edgerton (The Square)
Cast – David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Thandie Newton, Amanda Seyfried, Harry Treadaway, Sharlto Copley
Plot – Mild mannered company man Harold Soyinka (Oyelowo) finds himself in Mexico and in a spot of bother when he tries to set his bosses up for a fake ransom after he finds out they’ve backstabbed him, along with looking to kick him out of a job.
“You know, I don’t even care anymore, I’m doing it. I’m having the merlot!”
Review by Eddie on 07/02/2019
Australian brother’s, filmmaking partners and genuine good mates Nash and Joel Edgerton have been making movies together longer than many of us have been watching them and have in the past delivered a solid collection of memorable short film’s (Spider) and feature film’s (The Square), showcasing they know what they are doing, which makes Gringo (the highest profile film of Nash’s career behind the camera) all the more disappointing.
Featuring a star-studded yet underutilised cast lead by Selma’s David Oyelowo, with support from Joel Edgerton, a game Charlize Theron, Sharlto Copley, Thandie Newton and the shouldn’t of even bothered rocking up Amanda Seyfried and Harry Treadaway, Gringo is seemingly set-up to be a Coen-brothers like dark comedy centred around Oyelowo’s good guy Harold Soyinka caught up in and incredible run of bad luck and unfortunate mistaken identities but Gringo ends up being more focussed on being a fish out of water thriller that both outstays its welcome and fails to entertain.
After a rocky set-up as we are introduced to the mild-mannered and well-intentioned Harold as he heads to Mexico with his pharmaceutical bosses Richard Rusk and Elaine Markinson played by Edgerton and the flirtatious Theron, Gringo quickly falls into its uninspired tale of Harold trying to trick his cold-hearted higher-ups to pay him money while getting caught up with a holidaying couple, a Mexican drug cartel and a breaking marriage.
Done right, Gringo could’ve provided some mildly amusing antics and some middle of the road laughs but Nash Edgerton feels uneasy behind camera, not knowing whether to go for laughs or thrills, which also holds back his capable cast of enlivening proceedings as the film gets bogged down less than half way in.
Oyelowo gives it a good crack as Harold but the well-regarded performer does over-do it at times, while most of the supporting cast bar the also impressive Theron feel like they are sleep-walking through their turns in what feels like a cast stacked with one to many A-listers not getting a lot to do, making you wonder why many of their characters are even included in the tale with so little for them to work with.
Final Say –
Gringo is a sleazy and grimy Mexican set-tale of revenge, double crosses and unlikeable characters that is a huge disappointment from the Edgerton brothers who should and do know better. Working neither as a comedy or a thriller, Gringo ends up being a master of none of its elements and wastes a wonderful bunch of cast members on a hugely forgettable outing along the way.
1 ½ big toes out of 5