20 may. 2012

My Review: Get the Gringo (9/10)

¨If I was going to survive in this place it was time to do what I was good at.¨

People in Hollywood need to stop boycotting Mel Gibson`s movies because Get the Gringo is the best film I`ve seen this year. Gibson is back doing what he does best: mixing sarcastic comedy with lots of action. Gibson starred in Foster`s surprisingly good film The Beaver last year and everyone ignored it, and now this film gets a direct to DVD release. This movie is a lot better than most films playing in the theaters now and I found it to be the best one of 2012 so far so by all means go see this because you won`t be disappointed. Some people are even saying this works as sort of a sequel to Payback, but I think it is actually a lot better. Mel Gibson is at his best once again and never ceases to entertain as he`s narrating his experience in a unique prison in Mexico called ¨El Pueblito.¨ Gibson hasn`t starred in many films in the last decade (since his work in Signs he`s only been in three films including this one) and he seems to choose his roles carefully because each one has been great. He also co-wrote the film alongside first time director Adrian Grunberg who had previously worked as a first assistant director with Gibson in other movies. Stacy Perskie also co-wrote the screenplay which I happened to find very inventive and funny, I really liked the sarcasm and comedy in this film. Perskie and Grunberg had both worked together as assistants in Man on Fire, a movie I found very similar to this one in many ways.

Mel Gibson plays the gringo whose name we never really hear (following the same tradition from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and last year`s Drive starring Ryan Gosling). The film begins with a car chase between two men dressed up as clowns and police officials who are opening fire on these men. One of the clowns happens to be Mel`s character and he has just stole a lot of money from some sort of a mafia king. With no other escape the gringo has to cross the border to Mexico where a couple of police officers are also waiting to make the arrest. Seeing all the money in the car, the Mexican officials don`t allow the Americans to enter and so keep the money for themselves and put the gringo in prison. This prison happens to be very unique since it is controlled by an inmate name Javi (Daniel Gimenez Cacho). His family, including his brother Caracas (Jesus Ochoa) helps him run the place. The prison works like a small town where you can buy things at a store or even rent your own room. Prisoners also have their family living with them so you see a lot of kids around the place. The gringo meets a nine year old kid played by Kevin Hernandez, who he befriends. The kid teaches the gringo how the prison works. The kid`s mom (Dolores Heredia) doesn’t like Mel`s character at first, but after seeing how he cares for her kid she realizes that he`s a good person. The gringo realizes that everyone treats the kid well in the prison and will soon discover why. He not only has to learn how to survive in that dangerous prison, but also try to recover the money that he stole, and help the kid get out as well.

Get the Gringo is a really entertaining film with good amount of laughs and action sequences. It has some Man on Fire elements and I would even go as far as to saying that it has the classic Tarantino setting. There is one scene where we see a shootout that reminded me a lot of his films. I really enjoyed this movie and thought Mel Gibson was great in it. The kid, Kevin Hernandez was also really good and had great chemistry with Mel. The movie not only works as an action film, but it also has some elements from the buddy comedy genre. This unlikely duo between the kid and Mel is what makes the film stand out even more. We root for Mel`s character because even though he`s a thief he`s better than the rest of the criminals and corrupt officials. This is my favorite film of the year so far and I really wish more people had the opportunity to see it because it is a lot of fun. Please give Mel Gibson a break and let him do what he does best: make movies without judging him for his personal life.

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