mtl Movie Reviews by The Dove Foundation
Runtime: 110 minutes
Starring: David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton, Charlize Theron, Thandie Newton, Sharlto Copley, Amanda Seyfried
Director: Nash Edgerton
Sex: Implied sex between coworkers; an adulterous affair; sexual flirting; some sexual acts (none excessively graphic)
Language: "F***" throughout; "Sh*"; "Da**"; "GD"; "Jesus"; several words for genitalia
Violence: Moderate violence, including shootings and punching; sometimes graphic
Drugs: A sub-story involves the muling of drugs; a drug/pharmaceutical company is a driving force; alcohol is consumed by main and supporting characters
Gringo, a dark comedy mixed with white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, explores the battle of survival for businessman Harold Soyinka when he finds himself crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal.
Remember Fargo, a film about crimes out of desperation and people's insatiable stupidity to regain order? It seems as though they just don't make them like they used to—or not as often. With Fargo, the crimes are violent and heinous enough, yes, but the comedic element kept it memorable for over 20 years. And in that humor was genuineness—ticks and quirks that gave the film a sort of empathic feeling that kept us watching despite the criminality.
Gringo is a film that fails on all of those counts. Here is a film that is mean-spirited, unfunny, and terribly insensitive to groups of people and its own story. The plot is meant to be a mess, but quickly it turns into an unintended one because, despite its ensemble format, there is no one and nothing to care about. I left the theater taking nothing with me.
David Oyelowo, already proven a great lead in films like Selma, is engaging and spirited enough as Harold, a schmuck getting his groove after his professional and personal life goes to threads, but the rest of the cast (all talented in their own rights) have nothing authentic to offer the screen. Every scene felt empty to me, and I consistently asked myself why, because these characters are empathetic. This is a film where the elements are against the protagonist by all means, but if not one element is understandable to its audience, why bother for two hours watching Harold experience undramatic and unfunny antics?
All the same, the film is not approved by Dove. Even if it was, Gringo is, by all means, not worth your time this weekend.
Not Dove Family Approved
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