Get the Gringo is meant to be Mel Gibson’s post-rant comeback film (the Jodie Foster-directed The Beaver was made pre-rant) but this very violent moderately entertaining prison drama is not going to see him welcomed back with open arms by the cinema going public.
Get the Gringo is odd by most standards but familiar territory for Gibson. As in 1999’s Payback, Gibson plays a guy on the fringes of organized crime, who finds himself up to his ears in bloodshed.
When he’s busted with a car full of loot south of the border he’s thrown into a Mexican prison where he becomes involved in an elaborate scam involving missing millions, Mexican crime bosses, crooked cops and liver transplants.
Like Gibson himself, the film maintains our interest though a kind of sweaty, crazy intensity and general weirdness. Particularly odd is the prison environment which has families and children mixing with violent, hard core crims.
Even when we accept the film’s oddball scenario much of it still seems ridiculous and implausible. Gibson’s unnamed character seems to have a supernatural ability to appear at just the right time to save the day. Also, there’s a weird gear change in the film where Gibson pulls a Thomas Crown style scam on criminal rival.
While the cloud of Gibson’s recent real life antics hangs over this film, he still brings his typical cheeky, rough-edged charm to this anti-hero role.
There’s a semi-interesting caper film in here somewhere but this is lost in a messy script and over the top violence that verges on torture porn.
Director: Adrian Grunberg
Released: 31 May 2012
Running time: 95 min
- What’s on Built For Speed, Friday 1st June 2012
- Film review: MACHETE KILLS, from Built For Speed
- Film review: THE ANGELS’ SHARE, from Built For Speed
- Film review: SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, from Built For Speed
- Film review: A WINTER’S TALE, from Built For Speed