'Gringo': Movie Review

Updated on March 16, 2018
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Gringo
Gringo | Source

David Oyelowo certainly isn’t known for his comedic chops, but he just might be after turning in a hilarious performance in Gringo, Nash Edgerton’s very black comedy. Unfortunately the movie isn’t nearly up to Oyelowo’s level, and it will probably come and go before anyone gets a chance to appreciate him. And if it doesn’t, it probably should. Full of bloody violence played solely for laughs and a script that can’t seem to get out of its own way, Gringo largely misfires, squandering its ample potential. It ends up being nothing more than a mildly entertaining attempt at a quirky Coen Brothers-esque satire.

Oyelowo stars as Nigerian-born Harold Soyinka, a low-level employee at a Chicago pharmaceuticals firm run by consummate “dude” Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton). His right-hand woman is Elaine (Charlize Theron), who has perfected the fine art of being an offensive and manipulative ass. Behind closed doors, Richard and Elaine are engaging in extracurricular activities while also secretly plotting to screw the company through a profitable merger. To close the deal, though, they have to convince their Mexico plant manager to stop selling their product (a marijuana pill) to a local kingpin.

Since Harold is buddy-buddy with the Mexican team, Richard and Elaine bring him to smooth things over, but it doesn’t take long for everything to get royally botched. After Harold overhears his bosses discussing the merger plans and then laughing about how they’ll be firing him shortly, he discovers his wife is having an affair. With his life in the toilet Harold decides to fake his own kidnapping, asking five million dollars in ransom from his company. And then things get botched even more.

The kingpin is chopping off people’s toes while professing his love for The Beatles, a group of his thugs are looking for Harold so they can really kidnap him, and Richard and Elaine’s potential merger partners are getting cold feet. While all that’s happening, young Sunny (Amanda Seyfried) and her drug-mule boyfriend (Harry Treadaway) are on an unrelated adventure of their own, but they keep crossing paths with Harold until their plotlines eventually merge. And that’s before Richard’s ex-mercenary brother (Sharlto Copley) joins the shenanigans.

Screenwriters Anthony Tambakis (Warrior) and Matthew Stone (Intolerable Cruelty) might have been onto something at the start, but Gringo gets too preposterous too quickly, and it doesn’t take long for any hope of genuine laughs to dissolve into a decent amount of eyerolls and shrugs. There are still plenty of chuckles, to be sure, and Oyelowo and Copley do their level best to keep things afloat, but after the tenth or eleventh double-cross, it’s hard to keep track, much less keep caring.

Rating

3/5 stars

'Gringo' trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)