“It wasn’t dark, it wasn’t funny, and it wasn’t a good movie.”
Gringo is a brand new dark comedy that is neither dark nor funny. The film follows Harold Soyinka, a run-of-the-mill businessman who is so bland he makes oatmeal look appetizing, as he discovers that his life is falling apart. To rectify the situation, Harold pretends he was kidnapped while in Mexico on business. Then he actually gets kidnapped. But then he doesn’t. But then he does again. It’s all a very complex mess. Anyway, the movie is shit.
First up on the chopping block let’s discuss the characters in Gringo. Gringo features some of the most surface-level, poorly written characters I have ever seen committed to the screen. The jokes and subtext in Gringo are so obvious that the writer might as well have been in the theatre screaming shit at the screen the entire time. First up we have Joel Edgerton’s character Richard Rusk. Now Richard is a douchebag. How do I know he is a douchebag? Because literally every second he is on screen he is exhibiting every single stereotypical douchebag trait that you can think of. He doesn’t just date, he uses women. He isn’t just periodically ignorant, he’s terribly racist and really dumb. He doesn’t just work out, he does CrossFit. Literally every single thing that comes out of his mouth is disgusting, and I get that we were supposed to dislike him but I feel that there is a limit. Next up we have Charlize Theron’s character Elaine. Now Elaine is essentially the female version of Richard, but she is more crass. Some of the shit that Theron had to say in this movie was terribly juvenile and made it seem like the movie was written by a child who just learned that his mom won’t scold him for saying a bad word. Next up we have Harold who is probably the most oblivious, ‘goodie two shoes’ motherfucker you could write. Harold does nothing wrong in the movie, and yet everything bad happens to him. Harold also does nothing good in the movie, but we’re supposed to care that all of that bad shit is happening to him. He exists in this weird character purgatory where you don’t hate him but you don’t care about him either. And what pisses me off even more about the character of Harold is just how lazy the writing is for him. Harold shows absolutely no skill throughout the entire movie, and yet when it’s called for in the script he’s like a superhero. And not even that, he does amazing shit when just seconds before he was drunk off of his ass. It makes absolutely no sense, and it highlights what exactly is wrong with Gringo. And this doesn’t even touch some of the worst shit in this movie found in the other characters. The plot line that revolves around Amanda Seyfried, as well as the one the involves Sharlto Copley, are completely irrelevant. It almost feels as though the writer finished his script, realized it was only 40 pages, and then scrambled to add other shit to pad the runtime.
And all of this just makes the movie worse when you realize the story offered nothing of value either. Gringo is just so fucking boring. Like I said: it wasn’t funny; so that aspect is out the window. As far as the action in the movie goes, it wasn’t bad but there wasn’t much of it. The movie was just so predictable from start to finish, right down to the dude who is totally Mexican who looks just like Michael Bolton. There was just nothing interesting about anything that happened in Gringo. What makes this all worse is the fact that the ending acts as though you were invested the entire time when in reality you were praying for the credits to start. And don’t even get me started on the 4th wall break at the very end. Gringo did nothing to deserve a 4th wall break, but it just took one anyway. I can honestly say that the best part of Gringo was when the projector in the theatre cut out for about five minutes, giving me a chance to take a break from whatever the fuck this movie was.
Overall Gringo was not an enjoyable experience. It took the concept of ‘dark comedy’ and played it way too safe. It wasn’t dark, it wasn’t funny, and it wasn’t a good movie. It’s terribly written, the performances are passable at best, and it’s about 30 minutes too long.
I give Gringo a C