Gringo isn’t exactly a memorable film, but as dark comedies go, a subgenre I generally don’t enjoy, did have its funny moments excelling with its darkly charismatic cast led by David Oyelowo and even a deliciously terrifying, but funny, performance by Charlize Theron.
Genre(s): Comedy, Crime, Drama
Universal Pictures | R – 111 min. – $34.98 | June 5, 2018
Date Published: 05/30/2018 | Author: The Movieman
Universal Pictures Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 3.5/5
Gringo is a dark comedy and normally that subset genre isn’t my forte, often times I find them too mean spirited to be funny. However, this movie kind of hit the spot, not so much for the story, but there were some humorous “happenstance” moments, instead the engaging cast led way by the invaluable and charming David Oyelowo was what really made the film shine.
The plot revolves around pharmaceutical company man Harold Soyinka (DAVID OYELOWO) whose deep in debt, his boss and thought-to-be best friend Richard Rusk (JOEL EDGERTON) is rumored to be merging with another company after which Harold will lose his job, he later discovers that his wife is having an affair and he must deal with the vindictive and cold Elaine Markinson (CHARLIZE THERON), the company’s co-owner.
Harold, Richard and Elaine make a trip to visit a plan down in Mexico where, with Harold out the loop, Richard and Elaine force the plant manager to cut out payoffs in supplies to the head of a drug cartel. Meanwhile, we meet a couple, Miles (HARRY TREADAWAY) and Sunny (AMANDA SEYFRIED), with Miles making the trip in order to steal a valuable formula for a new marijuana pill from Rusk and Markinson’s company.
And here’s where we get to the happenstance part, which again, is great. Harold, down and nearly out, decides to fake his own kidnapping in order to get $5 million from the company. But things don’t go as planned when it’s discovered they let the insurance claim lapse. Furthermore, he’s got an angry and ruthless drug cartel leader believing Harold is the company boss and sets out to capture him; and yet another wrinkle: enter into the mix is Rusk’s mercenary brother (SHARLTO COPLEY) who is hired to ‘retrieve’ Harold.
It is a bit complicated but this film was a whole lot of fun, even if there came a point where it was getting a bit predictable. That said, I still enjoyed it if for nothing else but the great cast. Already mentioned Oyelowo who was great, but Joel Edgerton and Charlize Theron made for two of the sleaziest and most ruthless antagonists you’ll ever see, and frankly, probably not all that far from real life. Also in the picture is the lovely Thandie Newton as Harold’s cheating wife, she doesn’t get a whole lot to do and her screentime is minimal, but always nice to see her. Ditto, for different reasons, Alan Ruck makes an appearance as the head of the other merging company.
Gringo was directed by Nash Edgerton, Joel Edgerton’s brother, from a script by Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone and seemingly should’ve gone the VOD and DTV route considering its low $4.9 million box office haul where it was unceremoniously out of the theaters within only four weeks.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
This release comes with a glossy slip cover, redemption code for the Digital HD copy and a DVD copy.
Not much in the way of features, just a few EPK featurettes filled with interviews with the cast and crew. All told, there’s about 13-minutes but pretty surface level:
VIDEO – 4.5/5
|Gringo is presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec) and for the most part, this is a sharp looking picture, colors are generally bright even during the scenes in Mexico where the tones are on the natural spectrum with cream colors of the dry climate environment. Black levels are fairly stark while you can still see some elements within those shots.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
|The movie comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 that is perfectly satisfactory for a film which is mostly filled with dialogue, though it does come to life with a couple well placed car chases/crashes, where the surrounds to kick in as does the LFE channel rumbles on with minimal effect.
OVERALL – 3.25/5
Overall, Gringo isn’t exactly a memorable film, but as dark comedies go, a subgenre I generally don’t enjoy, did have its funny moments excelling with its darkly charismatic cast led by David Oyelowo and even a deliciously terrifying, but funny, performance by Charlize Theron. Universal releases the film with good video/audio transfers and dreadfully thin amount of features.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.