The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

  • Charlize TheronDavid Oyelowo...
  • Action & AdventureComedy
  • Nash Edgerton
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Cairo 360
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Gringo: One Laugh?

When a film’s trailer promises its viewers a hilariously comedic feature, a star-studded cast, a potentially humorous story, a premise that in itself is amusing, and the feature actually ends up delivering only one laugh throughout its 110-minute running time, then these viewers have surely been bamboozled.

Gringo is a film about a middle manager, Harold Soyinka’s (David Oyelowo), who heads to Mexico for a trip. In Mexico, Soyinka is kidnapped by a dangerous Mexican cartel who have been wronged by his company’s high management. Harold gets caught in the middle, with the cartel mistakenly thinking that he is the one in charge, all while his despicable bosses – Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Elaine (Charlize Theron)- debate whether or not they are willing to pay a ransom in exchange for Harlod’s safe return. In the meanwhile, Harold’s home life is destroyed one bit at a time, and his physical well-being is put on the line.  

Seems funny? Well take that scenario and bash it in with a hammer, add a dash of useless scenes, sprinkle some undeveloped subplots, top it all off with a miscast, and there you have it: a boring and incoherent film called Gringo.

Gringo had so much potential, especially as a comic feature, but the film ended up committing several acts of self-sabotage. For example, the film’s entire first half could have been screened in 25 minutes, rather than 55 minutes. Indeed, this part of the film contained almost thirty minutes of useless and repetitive scenes and sequences. 

The film also offered several underdeveloped and unexplored subplots, like Elaine (Theron) and Richard (Edgerton) sleeping together; Richard sleeping with Harold’s wife; two random strangers (Amanda Seyfried and Harry Treadaway), whose story is painfully and incoherently lodged in the film, and much more. All these subplots are put into play in the film’s second half, making them largely underdeveloped. The underdevelopment of these subplots made them seem like excessive afterthoughts, especially Seyfried and Treadway’s story.

As per the cast, Charlize Theron definitely stood out with her great performance as a despicable greedy businesswoman, despite the fact that her role was written in a shallow manner. Joel Edgerton follows through with a good performance of a sleazy boss pretending to be his employee’s friend, while actually being a major jerk. David Oyelowo, on the other hand, was not funny enough to uplift the movie from the swamps of failures its makers put it in. Oyelowo’s acting skills are not in question here, the question is weather or not having another actor, one with more comedic experience, would have been a better casting choice. 

All in all, if you are looking for a good movie, we definitely do not recommend this film. 

Like This? Try

Identity Thief (2013), Analyze This  (1999), Horrible Bosses (2011), Horrible Bosses 2 (2014), We're the Millers (2013) 

360 Tip

Director Nash Edgerton is the brother of star Joel Edgerton.

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