Appearing in his second film in consecutive weeks, Joel Egerton trades in his gun for a suit and tie to star as egotistical tycoon Richard Rusk in Gringo. Whilst on a disastrous businesses trip to Mexico Harold (Daniel Oyelowo) must fight for survival as a series of catastrophic events occur - seeing him fall from law abiding, good willed citizen to desperate, wanted criminal.
White knuckle comedy Gringo is an aimless romp that is low on laughs and low on entertainment value. Nowadays, comedies seem to be split into three types - those with perfect comedic timing - think Deadpool - the absurd comedy strand like the recent Baywatch, and lastly the consistent near miss-ers i.e. any Adam Sandler movie. Gringo however bucks this trend; creating a vacuum comedy that doesn't even attempt to be amusing, and winds up with a rather deadpan, boring delivery.
Initially there isn't exactly much to work with anyway. At first glance Gringo seems to be a routine drug cartel caper, but ultimately it drifts into being a strange, delusional drama with too few laughs to keep it going. If this picture did more with at least one of its many story strands then perhaps we wouldn't have a film that feels lost in a big crowd, a bit like the unfortunate Harold. Believe it or not Gringo doesn't spark any burning hatred from deep within, but it's just so fantastically eventless. Whilst most 'bad comedies' would anger and enrage with their sheer stupidity and offensiveness, Gringo is bad in a way that feels awfully unobtrusive and bland.
Hats off though to David Oyelowo performing in a, er, different role to his recent outings. He continues to prove a likeable lead and delivers most (if not all) of the few jokes that the film offers. On the plus side, if the British actor finds himself a better agent he will certainly land greater roles in future comedies. Equally, following her electrifying performance in last year's Atomic Blonde Charlize Theron demonstatres her impressive acting range delivering the feisty and fiery boss-lady Elaine.
Although it's nice to see Olyelowo and Theron take on different roles - and certainly have fun with them - Gringo is low on laughs, with little entertainment value or purpose. As a result of its thin plot line and odd structural issues it's unclear what Gringo is trying to achieve. Bland and unrealised, unfortunately Gringo struggles to find its feet throughout two unfulfilling hours.
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.