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Blu-ray Review: Gringo

June 6, 2018

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) is a Nigerian immigrant working for a pharmaceutical company in Chicago.  But when things go wrong on a routine trip to Mexico to visit their supplier, he ends up in way over his head.  This is the basic set-up for Gringo, which plays like a mix between action film and dark comedy.

With his sleazy supervisors Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton) and Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron) looking for a way to stiff him, Harold is left to deal with local drug cartels and hit men who are after him for money, while also crossing paths with Richard’s mercenary brother (Sharlto Copley), and an American tourist (Harry Treadaway) who is visiting Mexico with his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried), but has his own ulterior motives.

Directed by Nash Edgerton, who has worked steadily as a stunt man over the years and also happens to be Joel Edgerton’s brother, Gringo is a consistently entertaining film with a darkly comic energy to it that I found enjoyable to watch.  The script by Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone keeps things moving at a quick clip, and the whole thing unfolds with an air of unpredictability, filled with double crossings and multiple interconnecting storylines that keep the characters constantly on their feet.

While there are a few things to nitpick about Gringo, and there are certainly elements that are copied from other action films and strain credibility, it’s also fun to watch.  The film is bolstered by the best efforts of the ensemble cast, carried by an expectedly solid turn from David Oyelowo, who gets to show off a more comedic side while also bringing a really genuine quality to the main character.  This is a decent piece of entertainment overall, nothing more and nothing less, and I found it to be a perfectly enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.

The Blu-ray also includes the four featurettes The Making of Gringo, The Stunts of Gringo, Filming in Mexico and Who is Harold.

Gringo is a VVS Films release.  It’s 111 minutes and rated 14A.

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