GRINGO, a dark comedy mixed with white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, explores the battle of survival for businessman Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) when he finds himself crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal.
An exhilarating mix of dark comedy, white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, Gringo joyrides into Mexico, where mild-mannered businessman Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) finds himself at the mercy of his back-stabbing business colleagues back home, local drug lords and a morally conflicted black-ops mercenary. Crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal, Harold battles to survive his increasingly dangerous situation in ways that raise the question: Is he out of his depth - or two steps ahead?Written by
Dark-Comedies are an acquired taste, but once you develop it you have the ability to appreciate more satirical comedy. David Oyelowo attempts to bring this genre to life this weekend in the movie Gringo, a film that has some bite I didn't expect from a movie this early in the year. But what zany adventures will unfold when a black man is stuck between the high stakes world of pharmaceutical development and the cartels? Well that is what this film attempts to answer, and it is my job to give you the 411 on the latest movies to storm the screen. Let's go!
-David Oyelowo Acting
-Funny at times
Gringo is a movie that likes to go over the top, with characters that are all about going to one extreme or the other. However David Oyelowo is the character that has a little more dynamic than the other. Oyelowo is fun to watch, for me being the funniest character with his loud, rambunctious delivery of lines that are loaded with high-pitched panicking screams. Yet he is able to turn that energy around, and focus it to give a character that is worth looking into as he tries to navigate the hostile world he wound up in. Like his character Harold, Oyelowo keeps things very relatable and invests his time to making a good adventure.
But what is an adventure without a little ethics debate to come into the light. Gringo does this just right as the conversation of doing the right thing vs. the selfish thing constantly rears its ugly head in the cartel wastelands that this film takes place in. Harold's journey not only tests his own morals, but inspires others to address their own life choices, from settling on abusive boyfriends to what one will do to get money to accomplish their personal goals. It fits okay into the movie, but there are some hard hitting dialogue moments to help reassure that the best stuff doesn't mean the best life.
As stated earlier, dark comedies are a little dryer than other, more modern comedies so you have to be ready for more delivery and timing to do the lifting. Gringo has some legit comedic moments, really taking an awkward situation and turning it into a tear inducing riot of laughs. These moments often have a nice, clever zing to them, that Oyelowo maximizes using his natural accent and mannerisms.
And all of these components are able to be placed in a decently paced run time that minimizes the slow and maximizes the thrills.
-Curse heavy dialogue
-Not as funny as I had hoped
-Much ruined by trailers
-A little chaotic at the end
You've read my reviews, but you know that lazy writing that relies of cursing doesn't get my stamp of approval. Gringo has extreme characters that don't use the most advanced language, relying once more on F-bombs and sleazy pick up lines to do the talking. While pertinent to the story, for once, and sometimes entertaining, Gringo utilized these tactics too much for my tastes. Even the yelling of Oyelowo got old, with many of his pleas soon running dry like the desert he ran through. As such, this movie didn't really have the comedic punch I wanted, but more a thrill seeking, dark adventure with a little comedic buff thrown in. Perhaps this is also due to the fact that a lot of the funny parts had been advertised to death in the trailers, resulting in the overplayed scene being boring by show time. And once the last scene started to end and all the stories came together, things sort of wrapped up in a chaotic package that wasn't in time with the movie. Not the worst mind you, but not what I quite expected from the trailers.
Gringo is okay, and designed for a select audience that wants the darker things in life to be ridiculed. This film is a legitimate mixture of drama, crime, adventure and comedy, taking these aspects and twisting it into a semi-entertaining story with some moral obligations to address. While I enjoyed Oyelowo and the well-timed zingers, I still can't say this was the best, most unique comedy to hit the screen. The extreme characters, mundane dialog, and chaotic organization (ruined by the trailers), didn't deliver the expected feel I got from the advertising and as such left more to be desired. So I recommend skipping this one and hitting something else in the month of March.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0
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