Genre: Dark Comedy

Count 1-5…breathe then look at the caption of today’s review. Now, I need you guys to know that I do not really have any beef with feminists (I am one) but for the movie Gringo, I might have one or two scores to settle with the rather biased view of the scriptwriters and this is why…

Verdict

2 Stars

Synopsis

Gringo focuses on the life of Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo), a blue collar Nigerian working for an American pharmaceutical company. Harold gets wind of a possible merger which could cost him his job, a rumor initially denied by his bosses.

Harold discovers the truth on a trip to Mexico with Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton) and Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron) to handle the company’s product; a medical marijuana called the “Cannabax Weed Pill”. Upon discovering the betrayal, Harold decides to stay in Mexico and fake a kidnap to get his  2 million dollars company policy benefit and start a new life. Whilst hatching his plan, his wife dumps him unknowingly for Rusk.

The kidnap hoax turns real as a fearsome cartel; Black Panther is out to kidnap Harold for Rusk and Elaine’s decision to cut them off plans of creating the pill. Catching Harold, the involvement of the feds and hiring Mitch; Rusk’ mercenary brother makes the entire conflict of the movie, Gringo.

Review

I had high hopes for this movie, real lofty hopes especially as it stars some of my favorite stars; David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron and Amanda Seyfried but I guess the mention of “Nollywood” probably jinxed the entire movie. Just kidding!

All the forces of darkness chose my movie date to cause calamity (add the movie to that list). For one, power went out twice, the movie began  almost an hour later than the scheduled time, and the cinema hall was almost as hot as my bedroom at 12:00 pm. With all these drama, you would think that the movie would be worth my time abi?

Think again! Set in both Mexico and America, the movie progression was too slow, if I started walking from Oshodi, I’d get to the island before the action part began. It is disappointing especially as the trailer gave the vibe that the movie is an ACTION-packed COMEDY!

Gringo
David Oyelowo plays Harold Soyinka in the painfully thrill-less dark comedy

I think the movie lasted for 20 hours, Starting off with Oyelowo (Harold Soyinka) suspecting that his boss and friend, Richard Rusk might be making a critical decision for the company; Cannabax Technologies, Inc, that might affect his job. The plot painfully drags to the introduction of Joel Edgerton’s character, Richard Rusk; the extremely demonized character who is a reflection of the ruthless and racist corporate American employer with his ridiculous parables of gorillas and bananas and carrots.  In truth, I felt sorry for Edgerton’s character.

Gringo
Joel Edgerton and Charlize Theron

Rusk is the breathing reflection of every business owner’s most well hidden thoughts. On the verge of bankruptcy, a 5 million dollar death insurance benefit sure sounds good. Selfish and covetous no doubt but wanting to pay less and make more in business doesn’t make Rusk such a bad guy. 

It is OK if he gets punished for his crime but why did his partner get a happy ending? Eliane Markinson (Charlize Theron) is the baddest antagonist of the movie Gringo. How she gets a happy ending leaves me dissatisfied with the entire movie.

Thumbs-down to the biased script writer(s) of Gringo, Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone, your confused stand on Feminism ruined the movie among other shabbiness.

Gringo
Amanda Seyfried and David Oyelowo

Apparently, the writers thought to create  stereotypes of modern women. The clueless dummy who depends on the men in her life to take charge (Thandie Newton’s character) , the adorable blonde who has little expectations from life (Amanda Seyfried’s character)  and finally the self aware, emotionless, Aphrodite.

Are you bold enough to ask a man to show you his penis in a bar, enough to determine if you should waste your night with him? Well you might want to change role models.

Gringo
Charlize Theron as Elaine Markinson

Eliane is the representation of most misguided feminists. Depending on which side of the spectrum you are on, you can either fall in love or strongly dislike her character. The writers however don’t give us a choice as in the end, the Mother Gothel of Gringo gets her happily ever after.

It is quite cute how Harold Soyinka’s (David Oyelowo) character is made to appear cute and naive maybe with the aim of making Nigerians appear less demonic as the world would like to tag us but I insist that there is no realism in that.

On the bright side, Oyelowo literally carried the entire movie. He was a thrill to watch with his hilarious gimmicks, accent and the here and there Yoruba outbursts (which was what prompted me to see the movie in the first place).

Gringo
David Oyelowo

Character development? No way! Asides Harold’s well rounded character, the rest of the characters are that of convenience. We know little or nothing about them and they are disposed at convenience most irritating of all are the Coen brothers and the undercover agent.

Ultimately, Gringo was a waste of my hard earned money and 2 hours of my precious time. If you’d like to catch up with the star studded cast, feel free but if you seek the action that the trailer insinuates, save your money for a more fulfilling movie.

 

Mamazeus

Mamazeus

Mamazeus is a budding writer and blogger from Nigeria. Oftentimes described as a "comic storyteller", Mamazeus' articles guarantee a smile from the reader with the glummest disposition!
Movie review blogging is just one of the writer's many interests.

View all posts

6 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Mamazeus

Mamazeus

Mamazeus

Mamazeus is a budding writer and blogger from Nigeria. Oftentimes described as a "comic storyteller", Mamazeus' articles guarantee a smile from the reader with the glummest disposition!
Movie review blogging is just one of the writer's many interests.