Judd: Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) works for a pharmaceutical company and has a horrible life, but he doesn’t know it yet. His wife (Tandi Newton) is bankrupting him; his boss, Richard (Joel Edgerton) is promising riches while selling him down the river; Elaine (Charlize Theron), his other boss – I think, it’s never really explained – treats him horribly. When some inventory goes missing, Richard, Elaine, and Harold head down to Mexico to check on a factory that is creating a marijuana based pill. Nash Edgerton directs Gringo, written Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone.
I left off the fact that the movie also prominently stars Amanda Seyfried, Harry Treadaway, Yul Vasquez, Hernan Mendoza, Diego Catano, Rodrigo Corea, Alan Ruck, Sharito Copley, Carlos Corona, and hell, why not, Paris Jackson.
Trailers makes the movie out to be a Cohen-esque comedy about a hapless loser that gets caught up in a Mexican drug cartel. The trailer bubbles with a million and one characters, each with witty one-liners. The movie does have a million and one characters, and at least a hundred plot lines, none of which amount to anything. The best lines are used in the previews, and for a movie that has so much constantly happening, it goes nowhere and is unbelievably boring to boot. The cast could have been cut by half, and wouldn’t have made a difference in the final product, except for maybe saving me an excruciating 20 minutes.
Though the movie has a superb cast the size of a small town, the characters are all poorly written and flat. Our born-loser, Harold, is at one moment helpless and blind to the evil around him, but cunning and shrewd the next. No, it’s not a character arc, it’s poor writing. Amanda Seyfried is needless, as well as a dozen others. Charlize Theron does what she can with the selfish villainess, but no one can save this garbage fire.
I was really looking forward to seeing Gringo, and was, obviously, severely disappointed. Amazon Studios has done some amazing things, but this is not one of them. Save your time and money. If you’re tempted to watch it when Amazon releases it on Prime, just know that you’ve been warned.
Judd: No stars