Starring: Mel Gibson, Kevin Hernandez, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Jesús Ochoa, Dolores Heredia, Peter Gerety
Directed By: Adrian Grunberg
Written By: Mel Gibson, Stacy Perskie, Adrian Grunberg
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 36 min
In Get the Gringo, Mel Gibson plays a career criminal who literally crash lands in Mexico while trying to evade US authorities. The reason why the American police are after him, and subsequently why the Mexican police don’t hand him back, is due to several large bags of cash found in his car. So The Gringo gets to keep his life, lose the money he stole, and start a new chapter confided within the walls of the brutal Ignacio Allende Prison. The money however, has a powerful owner, and so begins a south of the US border crime caper involving corruption at just about every level possible.
This movie gets off to shaky start, and clearly doesn’t rate the intelligence of its audience as we’re treated to way too much voice over exposition. But once the needless narration stops, the film settles down and becomes quite interesting. Initially as a fun crime caper as several parties start to track down the missing money, but also a story of redemption for our anti-hero, as be befriends a young boy and his mother in prison.
First time lead director Adrian Grunberg does pretty well to bring this film’s varied elements together as effectively as he does. But there were moments in the movie that seemed a little, experimental. A cool way to track from a speeding car, or an unusual camera angle, that when isolated probably seemed like a great idea, but when edited into the scene, looks out-of-place. There were also a couple of moments where the attention to detail was clearly lacking. Like a car chase during the opening moments of the film, over land that clearly still had the tire marks left over from the last few takes.
But these small mistakes are forgivable, as the overall plot, script, photography and Mel Gibson’s performance make for a mildly entertaining time at the movies.
If you’re a fan of Mel Gibson, then I think you’ll find this movie entertaining. The film earns its R rating due to its extremely violent content.
This movie was never given a theatrical release in the US, which is a shame because it’s beautifully shot. At home a HD screening on a nice big TV is recommended.
Benoît Debie’s cinematography is superb. I loved the layered rich color and detail in each shot at the prison.