In Brief: Fun and funny action flick. Call it Quentin Tarantino light.
First. Not to brag, while I may have missed the best of the best picture prediction where The Shape of Water tops Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I am right about the Academy Awards telecast. This year’s edition had the lowest viewer numbers in history at 25.6 million. That’s a 19-percent drop from last year’s 32.9 million.
I believe my prediction of people tired of political rants is a big reason why.
Now onto business. David Oyelowo is Harold. He’s the play it straight sort. Harold is from Rwanda and an immigrant used by his smarmy boss Richard and Richard’s nasty assistant. They’re done with almost tongue-in-cheek nastiness by Joel Edgerton (Red Sparrow) and Charlize Theron (Atomic Blonde).
Harold is the patsy in their scheme to dominate the U.S. marijuana market. On a trip they all take to Mexico he figures things out and disappears. It turns out Richard and his assistant have also put Harold in the sights of the head of a very dangerous drug cartel.
“Gringo” is directed by Nash Edgerton (Joel’s brother) and is written by Warrior’s Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone of the 2002 hit, Big Trouble. They don’t let up from the opening sequences to the film’s climax. All of the actors have a pretty good time with their parts but it is Theron who seizes the day. Though she has a career full of great parts and an Oscar, a Golden Globe and other awards to show for it, Theron gives one of her best ever performances.
Gringo offers up a bad news-good news scenario. There are twists aplenty but for an R-rated flick it’s rather sanitized. By sanitized I mean it’s violent without a lot of gore and adult without being packed with language that would make a sailor blush.
Or to put it a bit more succinctly, this is Quentin Tarantino light.
Director: Nash Edgerton
Stars: David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton, Charlize Theron, Thandie Newton, Amanda Seyfried, Harry Treadway, Yul Vazquez
A terrific comedy thriller with an equally terrific number of twists and turns. Average Joe Movie gives this one a 3 1/2 out of 5.
5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.
Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 28-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.
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