Guys, I’m getting really desperate here. I just want to see the first great movie of 2018… I’m not even asking for a 10 out of 10. I just want one 8 out of 10. Just one.
Last year, at around this time, I saw seven movies that I considered a 7 or higher.
As of today, I have only seen two. Both of them, I gave a 7 out of 10.
I’m dying here. I’m happy to call out terrible movies when I see them, but I’d prefer to balance it out with amazing films. So when I saw the previews for this quirky film called Gringo, with its promising cast and its sense of dark humor mixed with dry humor, I thought I might finally see a film with the potential for a great movie.
No guys, Gringo is a very solemn “meh”… with only a few moments of “yeh” balanced with a handful of “nah”.
SITWOL: Witness as the world constantly craps upon a Nigerian-born American as his naive kindness is preyed upon by scum.
Gringo seems to be inspired by some classic films defined by their witty dialogue and very snarky, interesting characters. Think early Guy Ritchie or most of Quentin Tarantino’s film lineup, or maybe The Usual Suspects or The Boondock Saints.
Gringo, however, is better than none of these.
It seems like the entire movie is trying as hard as it can to have dry, witty dialogue mixed with some very dark, insensitive humor. But the film rarely comes across as witty, and it never comes across as humorous. Don’t get me wrong, the dialogue isn’t awful; it’s just serviceable and forgettable.
The only real standout performance is our protagonist, played by David Oyelowo.
With him being the only truly decent man in the entire film, he became a very readily sympathetic character, and it was easy to root for him. This entire movie draws most of its entertainment by Oyelowo and his unfortunate journey of constantly getting screwed over. He wasn’t amazing, but he was undoubtedly the best part of the movie.
Joel Edgerton plays Oyelowo’s asshole boss, and Charlize Theron plays Mega-Bitch. It’s nice that both of these talented actors got actual characters to play, but they are unfortunately near lifeless due to the bland script. There’s simply nothing really all that special about either of their characters. Theron almost makes it by because of how manipulative and unlikable she is (and quite frankly, Theron is an amazing actress), but she doesn’t quite get to where she needs to.
Amanda Seyfriend gets the short stick as her character has almost nothing to do the entire movie.
Sharlto Copley gets the second shortest stick, but at least he was somewhat interesting to watch.
As you can see, the most heartbreaking thing about this movie is just how amazing the cast is. I love Theron, Edgerton, and Copley. But they are agonizingly underutilized in this film.
The plot is completely sporadic. There is not enough focus or vision to really make a strong story. The series of events does have its moments of outrageousness, shock, and surprise, but there is not enough in this movie to really make it worth emotional investment.
And I think that’s all I really have to say about this movie…
This is the shortest review of the year so far. I was simply underwhelmed. I laughed the same amount of times I rolled my eyes. I was inspired by this movie the same amount of times I was enraged by it. I cried during this movie the same amount of times that I cursed at the movie. Zero. I did zero of these things the entire movie. Gringo is just a bastion of mediocrity.