Gringo is a really fun film that wasn’t on my radar until I saw Joel Edgerton on a late night show and I’m so glad I did. Fresh off Red Sparrow, I saw him on Colbert and discovered he is hotter than you imagine, because he is Australian and also he has this other film, Gringo, which p.s., his brother Nash Edgerton directed. The cast is brimming with stars that are A listers and people that shine despite their lack of name recognition. Edgerton plays corporate dick, Richard Rusk, who is sleeping with everyone and has a general disregard for everything unless it benefits him. Charlize Theron plays Elaine Markinson, a rough woman “working” her way to the top who knows how to get what she wants. The standout however is David Oyelowo, who plays Harold Soyinka, a middle-management nobody whose life is crumbling at the hands of the two players above.
The film is a series of twists and turns that take place on a trip to Mexico. The three above work for a pharmaceutical company that is about to merge but they don’t want the lower level employees (i.e. Harold) to know. Harold is the only one who has been traveling to Mexico and has relationships with the people there. Harold also is unaware that the company has been selling off some product to a well-known drug lord, the Black Panther.
In an effort to clean up this business before the merger they all go down together and the big-wigs tell the Mexican contacts to cut it out, only to be told it’s not that simple… you don’t break up with a drug dealer, he breaks up with you. Harold finds out about the merger and learns of some other things back home that make him feel pretty hopeless. It’s then that he comes up with a plan to stage a kidnapping for the company’s insurance money. BEST. LAID. PLANS.
I don’t want to spoil the movie for you because it’s fun to watch the craziness unfold layer by layer. It’s a series of accidents, run-ins and crossing paths that all lead to hilarious interactions between the actors. There is another side plot with Amanda Seyfried that of course leads to the story lines crossing over. There’s drug dealers, the DEA, the Beatles and mercenaries. It’s funny and surprising and you connect with characters.
David Oyelowo is a delight. He plays the part to perfection and I can’t believe he isn’t in more movies. Theron’s character is also a different character than she plays, although her range is already so great, and I really enjoyed that she was such a ball buster that just let a smidge of vulnerability through. She’s not someone to root for, but I kind of like her. ‘Gringo‘ was a really satisfying film that I would definitely see again.
Written By: Beka Perlstein