HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Synchronic
Capote Tapes, The
Night, The
Show Goes On, The
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
   
 
  Gringo Anything You Can Do I Can Do Worse
Year: 2018
Director: Nash Edgerton
Stars: David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Sharlto Copley, Thandie Newton, Harry Treadaway, Carlos Corona, Melonie Diaz, Yul Vazquez, Hernán Mendoza, Hector Kotsifakis, Alan Ruck, Diego Cataño, Rodrigo Corea, Paris Jackson
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) wants to believe he has it all: a loving wife (Thandie Newton), a successful job, and just around the corner the promise of a multi-million-dollar windfall if his boss Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton) is to be believed. But somehow, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is not as forthcoming as it appears, and when he asks Richard about his bonus should the company's deal with medical marijuana go through, he is fobbed off with excuses and worse, something that sounds like a threat. His other boss, Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron) is even more blunt, but a trip down Mexico way for all three is about to radically alter their dynamic...

Even that far into the twenty-first century, the long shadow of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction loomed large in American thriller cinema, and not merely American, either. That trademark mixture of snappy dialogue and twisty-turny plot developments was well to the fore in many of this sort of crime drama, and Gringo was no exception: it even had the celebrity cast from big hitters such as Theron to internet stars in an extended cameo (Paris Jackson). If you had seen an indie thriller from about 1995 onwards, you would have some idea of what to expect, which was a convoluted plot and aims for the audience's funny bone, especially if they were the kind of viewers who laughed at violence.

What allowed this to rise above the tiresome, "not this again" material of a lot of those others were some nicely observed performances that did more than simply allow the salty dialogue to carry their readings. Oyelowo was particularly effective as the Nigerian nice guy unused to an America that will happily fuck you over to get ahead, not something he understands initially since he expects everyone to be as ethical as he is, but over the course of the Mexican trip his eyes are about to be opened to the extent that he tries a spot of subterfuge himself. Naturally, not all of this plan goes to, er, plan, but you could say the same about everyone else's scheming here, where the amusement lay.

Not to overpraise Gringo, it was still all over the place, and not simply geographically either, its aims for Ernest Hemingway comparisons so loose as to be practically invisible, and its lapses into action sequences more perfunctory than necessary, as if director Nash Edgerton was throwing them in because he felt he had to rather than them adding anything crucial. But what was cheering was how Harold in his essential innocence managed to win out over some very nasty people, almost as if he was a beacon of decency amongst a corrupt society that kicks the weak to the kerb in its endeavours to be top of the shitpile, and for that reason we wish to see him succeed. Even if his own plan, to get the fortune owed to him by pretending to be kidnapped, was performed with less than impressive style.

The thing was, we liked Harold and were able to understand his desperation at being stuck in a rat trap while in the rat race (he is basically bankrupt when we meet him), thanks to little bits where, for example he is introduced to us rapping along to Will Smith in his car journey to work; you don't have to be a Will Smith fan to find this endearing, since Harold is blatantly no Fresh Prince. Theron was also having fun as a hard as nails workplace shark, using sex to bend stupid men around her... well, not her little finger, anyway. Amanda Seyfried was stuck in a nice girl role but needed to prove it was not only our put-upon hero who had morals, and Sharlto Copley made a good, if hairy, reading as Richard's mercenary brother who is conflicted as to whether he should kill Harold or collaborate with him. Carlos Corona, too, as the cartel boss overcame hackneyed pop culture references to make something menacing out of a stock part - it was one of those movies you found yourself liking in spite of its faults and stop-start narrative because everyone committed to it and its conclusion to escape that rat race was the best course of action. Music by Christophe Beck.

[Sony's DVD has a few featurettes to add a little extra to the package.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1010 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: