Gringo is a new adventure/comedy released by Amazon Studios. The main issue here is that Gringo doesn’t manage to be adventurous or funny. David Oyelowo plays Harold, an under assertive middle manager of a pharmaceutical company that is led by his college pal played by Joel Edgerton, and Elaine played by Charlize Theron. Harold is taken on a business trip with Ederton and Theron’s characters. Once Harold finds out that everyone he trust has been taking advantage of him, he tries to fake his own kidnapping and profit off the ransom money.
Gringo is bogged down by repeatedly by useless sub-plots. It is constantly spending time on characters only to abandon them later on. There is a great deal of time spent on Amanda Seyfried’s character, and after a 3 minute scene with Harold she is gone for just about the rest of the movie. Joel Edgerton is involved in this love triangle with a few different characters, and while a great deal of time is spent on this, it doesn’t matter to the story at all. Sharlto Copley is a mercenary that seems to have conflicting opinions on just about everything. There are twists that are revealed with no prior set up, and it seems like the filmmakers were just making up Gringo as they went on.
What makes Gringo watchable is the performances. Theron and Edgerton are good as usual, but Oyelowo is really entertaining as he plays against type. I don’t think that he had much quality material to work with here, but I’d love to see him in some more comedies in the future.
Gringo feels like a pretty entertaining b-movie. A movie that if you watched it on cable on a Sunday afternoon it wouldn’t be all that disappointing. It quite resembles something that wouldn’t be a terrible watch on Netflix in the coming years. It doesn’t do anything one thing especially well, the story is a discombobulated mess, but it is somehow still watchable……I guess.