Cinematic Releases: A Bloody Good Time: Gringo (2018) Reviewed

Amazon Studios brings something special to cinemas this weekend. 

From Joel Edgerton's brother, Nash comes a modern dark comedy with a finely sharpened razor edge that cuts right through our lowered expectations. If you're a fan of Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, or Jackie Brown, we suggest seeing this movie. This is a strong reminder of a better era when movies were more about onscreen chemistry, cast dynamics, and movement of story. 

Calling back to the heyday of star studded films that interlaced numerous plot devices with a conglomeration of different types of characters, Gringo is one of the most unexpected cinematic pleasures we've been privy to in quite some time. Using the old school Elmore Leonard archetype, this latest film from Edgerton is a goofy but hyper violent crime caper that pits the innocent Harold Soyinka against his own poor judgement and a group of morally corrupt players that capture the essence of modern greed. The message here is quite clear. Can a man with a solid value system survive the inner workings of corporate corruption and the worship of cold hard cash? 

What am I doing here? Who are these two?

Barreling through with absolutely no brakes, Gringo is bloody brilliant. Star David Oyelowo drops his typical dramatic leanings for a bit of hair trigger 'every man' comedy that pits him against a varied crew of bad guys including dealers, undercover agents, drug mules, narcissistic execs, assassins, and a hard witted Charlize Theron destroying all her male acting counterparts. With ease, Theron delivers a conniving corporate sleazebag that outshines almost everyone in the movie. Joel Edgerton once again delivers in a role that feels extremely similar to his performance in Black Mass. Yet, scene thief Sharlto Copley puts on his best American accent to play a globe trotting highly trained killer with a heart of gold. This man can do NO wrong. 

Nash Edgerton built a great reputation with his 2008 thriller, The Square. His Gringo continues to build a solid directorial resume that will hopefully continue to gain momentum. This latest effort is a whip smart criminal enterprise that pulls no punches. The most impressive thing about his film is that nothing is held back. Nash has no problem with investing time in characters that might take a bullet by the end of his film. He also has no issue throwing unexpected turns or twists at his audience. Luckily, none of it feels contrived or for the sake of impressing us. Gringo is a that picture perfect specimen that pays tribute to yesteryear while it offers a story of redemption. 

I went into this one not thinking much of it. There wasn't much marketing behind it and the small inklings that hit the web didn't do much to impress. Gringo is a far better movie than anything we've seen from this genre in 2018 so far. The plot is smart. The acting is awesome. The action scenes are a joy to watch. And Oyelowo carves out his own new niche. See this movie.