Get the Gringo Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 3, 2015
Very entertaining, albeit not particularly exciting prison/heist/con film, that shows Gibson in the same form he's been in around the times of Payback. His character here is as charming and clever as ever, but things go a bit too smoothly most of the time, so there isn't exactly a major thrill about any of it. The location of the run-down Mexican prison also doesn't make for a very versatile setting. The result is still enjoyable thanks to the leading man and a few pretty clever turns.
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2013
Known as "How I spent my summer Vacation" in the UK?! A strange and quirky film set in a Mexican prison, which feels more like a mini city for of bad guys. This didn't get much hype, and I didn't know what to expect which possibly made me like it a bit more. It feels a bit gritty and rough around the edges compared to a lot of Mel Gibson's films, but it was still a decent watch if nothing spectacular. Reminded me of Payback a little.
Super Reviewer
½ May 26, 2012
A bold, slick, stylish and tough-as-nails crime-thriller. It packs a pure wallop and keeps you on the edge of your seat. A total blast. A rich in character and well done film for action junkies and will love Gibson in this film. Mel Gibson is back and at his very best, he gives a great and gritty performance, showing us why he`s a film star to begin with. It`s a great comeback for Mel as a classic and likeable anti-hero, it`s his best film in years. Gibson couldn't be any better than this. A cool as hell and hard-boiled action-packed thriller. A real blast of pure enjoyment. This movie rocks and rocks profoundly. A grim and intense mixture of story, action and humor. It`s Payback meets Midnight Express. A solid, gripping, funny and explosive thrill-ride from start to finish. A great piece of explosive action entertainment. It packs just as much fire-power as it does smarts and surprises.
Super Reviewer
February 18, 2012
"A film with great action, good plot, and good directing. I really enjoyed watching this. I was wrapped up in the story and the action was good. Mel Gibson gives another great performance. I have yet to see a movie of his I didn't like. I love his acting. I don't believe this film got the showing it deserved. It's one of his better films and it's sad his professional life is taking a hit because of his personal drama.
If your looking for a good action flick then give this one a try. It delievers."
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2012
Yes, Mel Gibson is a troubled man. And yes, he seemed to lose his way for awhile. However, he is choosing some really quirky, and good, projects lately. This one included.......This was really good, and very entertaining! Moviegoers need to set aside their personal biased against Mel Gibson, and enjoy his films.
Super Reviewer
October 3, 2012
An interesting premise but it doesn't really pay off at all.
Super Reviewer
½ September 1, 2012
"The odds are against him. So is everyone else."

A career criminal nabbed by Mexican authorities is placed in a tough prison where he learns to survive with the help of a young boy.

There has been a lot said about this film - mostly by those that have not seen it. Some hate it because Gibson is in it and, similarly, others love it because Gibson is in it - again this was part of the reason I wanted to see it myself. The films sets its stall out well, letting you see some of it strengths and weaknesses all summed up in the opening scene (two clowns, one bleeding, fleeing the US). The opening is elaborate and unlikely but yet quite fun, it has a superficial grit to it and perhaps throws on the blood more than required. So far as plotting goes it is equally daft but yet it has a sense of a low-key B-movie about it, so you look at it with less judgement than perhaps you might otherwise. The car chase also freeze-frames for a narration by Driver that is very obvious as a device and doesn't totally work but yet has enough superficial grit and tone to it to just about make it work. And all of these things can be said about the movie as a whole because it pretty much continues thus.

This is a film that asks us to both accept that Driver is lucky to be alive in a Mexican prison, but yet also about as slick as they come when it comes to taking out his enemies (the umbrella scene in particular is cool as anything) and it took me a second or two to work out that the film very much lives in the scene rather than the overall product. The stuff about the boy is OK, the transplant is a necessary device but feels odd and the world of the prison is both intriguing but not totally convincing. It moves with just enough pace and action to keep you from looking at anything too closely - always a wise move for a film that isn't particularly strong in the content department. Once you sort of accept the limitations the film actually works because the individual scenes work pretty well - as a whole it never comes together and too much of it is convenient or nonsense, but it is actually pretty good entertainment. I think a lot of viewers and critics have been pleasantly surprised to find this because they come to it with low expectations, but it is still a solid film in its own right.
Super Reviewer
½ August 11, 2012
The odds are against him. So is everyone else.

Great movie! This movie is seriously meant for fans of tough action movies and is not for people looking out for a highly intelligent action movie.This is a smartly and slickly written piece of work which definitely has its ups and downs.The story is nothing new, first half hour is Mel settling into prison life ,but when the action begins it's a very brutal affair. All in all this movie is a Mel Gibson show which is highly gripping,thrilling and which I found is all the more absurdly entertaining.

Apprehended by the Mexican authorities, Driver is sent to a hardcore prison where he enters the strange and dangerous world of 'El Pueblito'. Not an easy place for an outsider, unless it's with the help of someone who knows the ropes - a 10-year-old kid.
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2012
This movie was surprisingly good, Gibson takes up his Payback character and put it in a mexican jail where his talents are well suited. Well paced and quite entertaining.
good action, good story written by Gibson, glad to see him back in this way
really worth watching movie.
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2012
Get the Gringo isn't a great film, but it is a sufficiently entertaining one that if anything illustrates that Mel Gibson - in spite of age and personal issues - can still hold his own as a veteran action star. To label this as a fully-fledged action movie is a bit of a stretch though. If you look to some of its promotional material, it implies a fast-faced plot and a plethora of bullet exchange. Essentially, however, it's a prison flick, where Gibson - who plays a career criminal who gets thrown into the joint after getting caught by the Mexican authorities - spends the better part of his time trying to survive the incarceration through the help of a young boy and his mother. The most interesting aspect of the story is the prison itself; the dirty, gritty atmosphere, which runs like a small society, with stores, housing and some inmates living with their families. In this regard, it's quite original, but it unfortunately doesn't compensate much for the the thin and water-treading script. Too often I found myself waiting for something exciting to happen, and when it finally does, it's very pedestrian in its execution. Adroit acting from Gibson makes it worthwhile though, and it's nice to see him back where he belongs again (not behind bars, but you know what I mean). A decent action-drama, with an agreeable touch of dark humor. Just not really the kind that I'd be in a hurry to watch again.
Super Reviewer
May 13, 2012
(aka How I Spend My Summer Vacation)

So it seems Mel Gibson has really upset the apple cart in Hollywood, his new action film has been shunned in the US completely which is pretty bad considering Gibson can bring home the bacon.

As for this new offering well I'm confused, I have read allot about how good this is and how Gibson is back to his best but as far as I'm concerned the film is incredibly average. Its basically a prison flick as Gibson is caught trying to escape a heist at the start and is slung in a Mexican prison, from there he plays bad guys off each other to survive and gets tangled in all manner of gang related issues.

OK firstly there is hardly any action here, yes that's right, this is no 'Lethal Weapon' topper. One gun fight mid way through, a few punch ups and a so so finale and that's your lot, very disappointed there I was. The plot is a rehash of...well just about any and every prison/action flick you've ever seen, the main difference here is the setting. A huge prison set up like a small shanty town where criminals are able to serve time with their families including kids!, buy drugs, drink, own guns, use women, have anyone come and see them, go to bars etc...basically an inmate run facility where money talks. At first I thought this was nonsense of Gibson's creation but it turns out there was an actual prison facility like this in Mexico, it was known as 'criminal university' and this does make the film more interesting...almost.

I read somewhere that this film was actually suppose to be an indirect sequel to Gibson's 1999 action film 'Payback'. Apparently the main character in 'Gringo' is suppose to be 'Porter' from 'Payback' but simply in a different story, no connections to 'Payback' in any way, just a new adventure if you will. This new film does play out like 'PB' with Gibson's narration, the way he uses people and the fact he is a badguy again.

Low down scummy, gritty, dirty and seedy, you can virtually smell the sweaty under stains. Well made with good camera work giving a more realistic feel (but not shaky handheld cam), many Spanish speaking actors equalling subs which makes the film feel more grown up and Gibson grunting his way through it all perfectly but in my opinion its not a good film.
Very average swinging towards slightly boring if you ask me, I didn't care about any of the characters, there's no real info or back story on anyone including Gibson's character, the 'action' is subdued and sparse and its all very cliched. To be honest the heist we see Gibson tearing away from at the start looked more interesting than what happened after, why is this so hyped?
Super Reviewer
August 31, 2012
So after seeing the poorly done Scott Adkins knockoff El Gringo, I quickly returned it and got Mel Gibson's Get The Gringo. While I'm not sure American audiences will give it chance due to Gibson controversial nature, they'll be missing out on what Mel Gibson does best if they don't.

Get The Gringo is follows a career criminal nabbed by Mexican authorities who is placed in a tough prison where he learns to survive with the help of a young boy. The plot is gritty, intense, dark, intelligent, violent, and most importantly entertaining all the way through with added dark humor. It develop characters who all are very interesting and fit the story perfectly. It move as a such a great pace and gradually gets you invested while building on the excitement. The relationship between Gibson and the kid he bonds with in prison is among one of the most unique I've seen and feels real at all time. It does an excellent job expanding upon it premise whether its adding dimension to the protagonist motivation or making our character task harder to overcome. The talented Mel Gibson returns to the big screen by not only writing a smart movie, but delivers one impressive performance and makes one very entertaining narrator. The supporting cast are not too bad themselves, but Mel Gibson steals the show here. I'll also give praise to director Adrian Grunberg for delivering on the atmosphere, you'll literally believe you're inside of a real prison and no way out of it.

Mel Gibson's Get The Gringo is one of the better movies released this year and should be seen no matter what your personal opinion on Gibson past behavior might be.
Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2012
As if to make a point, Gibson's latest sees him working under a (presumably) Jewish director. Tellingly though there are very few American actors sharing the screen with the troublesome Aussie here. Like a wanted man he has fled south of the border in an attempt to resuscitate his career. This movie won't do him any favors, it's dull in the extreme.
I can't think of a more terrifying prospect than spending time in a Mexican jail but the prison portrayed here is like a holiday camp. I suspect in real life a "gringo" wouldn't have time to hang a Rita Hayworth poster in his cell before finding a knife in his back. Gibson somehow seems able to run around causing trouble despite sticking out like a sore thumb as the only Anglo-Saxon in the place.
Grunberg was Gibson's cameraman on "Apocalypto" but making the move to director may not have been a wise career choice. The movie feels thrown together and directionless, but Grunberg would probably say he wanted to evoke a documentary look. Personally I prefer my movies to actually look like movies. This is the latest large scale production shot on a Red One camera. For those of you who aren't sad obsessives like me, the Red One is repeatedly touted as a digital camera that finally rivals film for quality. Pull the other one. Every movie I've seen shot with this camera ends up resembling a porn. It handles motion terribly, the slightest bit of onscreen movement results in a nauseating blurring effect. A movie which features as much running around by actors and cameramen as this becomes near unwatchable at points. Filmas a format is sadly extinct now because Hollywood wants to save money. I just wish they could be honest about this instead of trying to convince us digital is a technically better format. They killed film for the same reason they killed Technicolor, to cut down budgets. "Don't piss down our backs and tell us it's raining" to quote Josey Wales.
Personally I like Gibson. Not as a human being obviously, but as a screen presence and a film-maker I think he has something to offer. In my dream world Hollywood is still churning out westerns and Gibson is the new John Wayne. Perhaps he needs to travel further south, back home to Australia, a country which currently has a far more interesting film industry than the U.S.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2012
Mel Gibson has faced Australia, Scotland during a war against the English, Jerusalem during the death of Christ, the American Revolution, the Vietnam War, the latter days of the Mayans, rural Pennsylvania during an alien invasion and one awesomely messed up dystopian future, but never has he faced a challenge quite like a bad part of Mexico. Well, in all fairness, Mexico has never really faced a challenge quite like Mel Gibson, and as far as most Americans know, Mexico didn't. Yeah, this film is hardly the talk of the town, though it's being somewhat obscure might very well be intentional, because it's about Mel Gibson as some kind of crazy brute going around and killing him some Mexicans in a film whose tagline reads, "The odds are against him. So is everyone else." Yeah, this film sounds like it's probably not the best thing for Gibson's reputation, which is a shame, because, hey, I still like the guy just fine, even though he has flown way off the handle with that Aussie-tude and being spoiled... alcoholic, bipolar, a super traditionalist Catholic, emigrant to a different country at 12, father of eight and middle child of eleven to a WWII veteran who seems to be even nuttier. Wow, yeah, I'm really dubious that Gibson's actually a racist, largely because you'd be amazed at what plenty of perfectly reasonable and immensely less flawed people will boast behind closed doors, so even if Gibson's the non-actual-racist I presume he really is, he's still, for all accounts, damaged to where I can see him saying even crazier stuff that never even made it on tape, though don't quote me on that, because I don't want some of that aforementioned Aussie-tude. Well, I can definately tell you something about Mel Gibson that I'm certainly certain about: he's still an awesome actor, and while he's not quite the mind-blower in this film that he was in last year's "The Beaver", this is still Gibson getting back to the classic role of a flawed, tough buck with no time to care about what people think or to choose his words carefully as he finds himself tossed into the wrong place at the wrong time. Shoot, looking at the description of the titular nameless gringo and the description of Gibson nowadays, no wonder Gibson still knows this role so well, though if all of this talent hasn't gotten the public to give him a bit of a break, then lord knows that it's not going to drown out this film's flaws.

The film opens up with Mel Gibson's nameless character, in a clown costume and make-up, hauling like lightning in a car to the Mexican border, with the cops on his tail, his shot accomplice in the backseat with a big bag of freshly stolen money and Ten Years After's "50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain" kicking somewhere through all of the man-tastic noise, and at that point, you may as well set fire to your man cards - even if you're a woman - if you're not sold and expecting some consistent thrills, only to find momentum drop way down shortly thereafter, as this film is nothing if not all over the place with pace. The film's pacing is uneven, having those kind of spikes in intensity, only to quickly drop down to a limp, with levels of dialogue prevalence, editing tightness and so on and so forth contradicting itself at too many turns, though if there's anything consistent about much of the pacing during the body, then it's some varying degree of surprising slowness, if not all-out dullness. After the opening, editing becomes baby-tooth loose to make room for nothing but nothing and dialogue becomes sparse to make room for a definately charismatic, yet limply written narration by Mel Gibson that provides superfluous insight into nothing but nothing. This type of "story"telling falls back into play here and there throughout the film, yet is nonetheless perhaps at its worst during the early acts, which lose you quite quickly after its awesome hook, and once the dialogue gets to be much more prevalent and Gibson's narration momentarily dissipates without a trace, the film wins you back, though not too much, as things remain rather quiet, repetitious, draggy and all around slow, certainly not to the point where you give up on the film, yet decidedly to the point of leaving the film to dull out and the viewer to fall out if his or her attention strays away even for a moment. It gets to the point where you look back and find that, even with all of the spots that do wake you up, the film is more often too slow for its own good, as well as sometimes too uneven in pacing for you to feel the intensity in the air as much as you probably should, though that might just be because we get too used to the film being so slow for such a long time. Now, the film's dull spots aren't quite a prevalent as I'm making them sound, and when the high points do hit the scene, they hit pretty hard, yet there's no denying that the film is, in fact, slow, and much more often than not, or at least often enough for the film to lose too much steam all too often, until it ultimately sputters out as too slow in too many spots to be, as a whole, all that above average. That being said, this film hits about as much as it misses, with some hits being stronger than the misses, and while that's not quite enough to pump this film above decent, it's enough to make for some pretty commendable high points, as well as consistent strengths that keep you going until those high points.

Mel Gibson's, Stacy Perskie's and director Adrian Grunberg's screenplay is flawed, with bloated spots of filler that slow things down quite a bit, yet is, on the whole, actually fairly sharp, avoiding many potential tropes and cliches through some interesting and reasonably unique concepts, as well as a bit of audacious and intriguing realism and grit that manages to enhance the intense areas of the story, while not standing out so much that it drowns out such fluffier writing aspects as razor-sharp dialogue that may not quite snap enough to fully dilute the slow spots, yet certainly livens the film up with cleverness. This snappy dialogue certainly goes complimented by Steven Rosenblum's editing, which may be loose when it comes to stringing scenes together, thus leaving filler to spill in, as I went on and on about in the first paragraph, yet really delivers when it comes to the details of a single scene by itself, snapping back and forth between cuts in a clever and lively fashion that catches your attention much more often than not and spices up both dialogue and, when it finally comes into play, action, which, like the dialogue, has plenty of sharpness in the action to spice up. I've already mentioned this film's opening car chase sequence, which sure did make for a sharp hook and cool action sequence, though not the only one, for although it takes a while for this film to bring back the action, when bullets and whatnot start flying, the clever editing and action concepts make for some thrilling brawls, while the aforementioned hardcore realism, heavy yet not too gratuitous violence and quite a bit of bite to the substance gives the action some weight, thus making for some compelling consequence that helps in defining the film, when it's not being kept going by its fluffier spots and, of course, the charisma of Mel Gibson, who may be given little to do, as far true acting material is concerned, yet delivers as well as he typically does when he does find material to play up. There is a very brief, yet pretty strong, memorable and almost definitive sequence at about the fifty-minute mark in which Mel Gibson's nameless character finds himself held at gunpoint by our antagonist, only to talk his way out a bullet to the brain by reminding said antagonist of how he managed to survive through the hardcore action sequence that preceded this moment, which Gibson carries by delivering on intensely raw emotion and unexpected vulnerability that leaves that kind of classic "Hero Talks His Way Out of Death" sequence to take a turn for the more realistic, and for the better, as it conveys the compelling vulnerable depth of our nameless protagonists and leaves consequence to take a boost that rarely, if every falls from the then on. However, consequence goes more often than not sustained from then on, all but entirely because that was the moment where fun and games ended and things got especially serious, as Gibson's material never again reaches past, or even to that point, which runs mere seconds, yet those seconds really do spice up Gibson's performances, which had prior and since been built primarily around charisma, which is just fine with me. No matter how much many people don't really care to admit it nowadays, Gibson is still a worthy talent, or if nothing else, a potent onscreen charmer, as he reminds us with the striking charisma and slick line delivery that makes him an engaging lead for this film, which may not ask Gibson to do too much more than just deliver on charisma to lead strong, yet doesn't really need to. Again, this film isn't quite 2011's "The Beaver", neither as all that powerful of an acting piece for Mel Gibson, nor all that rewarding of a film by its own right, yet when it's all said and done, it's worth checking out, even if it does underwhelm a bit.

Overall, the film's pacing gets to be uneven, yet tends to float around some varying degree of slowness, which ranges from too disengagingly steady for its own good to actually fairly dull, and with there not quite being enough to compensate for the film's being more considerably slow and somewhat bland than not, the final product, as a whole, stands as improvable, yet still keeps you going through thick and thin with a generally strong screenplay that boasts mostly clever story structuring, sharp dialogue and gripping realism and grit, complimented by well-crafted and hardcore action sequences - somewhat underused though, they may be -, as well as by Mel Gibson's thoroughly charismatic performances, thus leaving "Get the Gringo" to ultimately stand as a somewhat underwhelming effort, yet one that strikes enough high notes for you to walk away having enjoyed yourself more often than not.

2.5/5 - Fair
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2012
Get the Gringo succeeds at being a quality B pulpy action film, and does so in large part because of Mel Gibson. Gibson embodies the sort of tough, sarcastic, but believably amendable in-the-end bad-ass that these sorts of films need. The script, while certainly not devoid of cliches, generally strikes a good balance between gritty and slightly corny. The action sequences are also well done, being stylized yet easy to follow and realistically bloody. The acting all around is also strong, with even the child actor opposite Mel showing some real talent and depth beyond his years. The weakest elements of the film are the muddled back-story and a third act which strains believe-ability, even for the world set up by the film. Overall, it's not his best, but Get the Gringo manages to show why Gibson should still be considered relevant.

3.5/5 Stars
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2012
Latest Mel Gibson movie directed by Adrian Grunberg is finally bringing back the old good Mel. The story of The Gringo (Mel Gibson), written by Mel Gibson, about a robber who is convicted and sent to a Mexican prison for stealing money from a crime boss, was exceptionally well developed and perfectly paced . Having an opportunity to enter the Mexican prison system is a rare event, and doing it through the eyes of a Gringo is something even rarer, at least for me.

The director Adrian Grunberg, worked previously with Mel Gibson as a first assistant director on Apocalypto. The film's theatrical release began in Israel in March of 2012 before reaching 22 other countries over the next six months, and in the UK, the film was released under its original title of "How I Spent My Summer Vacation."

I am glad that Gibson is back doing what he knows the best! Maybe not the most fashionable in the cinema yuppies circles but for me was a nice enjoyable viewing!
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2012
Well, Mr Gibson is back to his "Ransom" form with this gritty and gruffy, tough as nails action. The film is just Gibson material and the levity he brings to this kind of a grim set up is just unique to him.
This film set up in a Mexican prison hell and Mel Gibson, who was the co writer of the script, writes himself a tailor made role which made him what he is known for.
Good ride.
Super Reviewer
½ June 3, 2012
Mel may have his issues but the guy still knows how to make a good movie. Edge of your seat action flick, more in the vein of Conspiracy Theory than Lethal Weapons. Okay the ending borders on the absurd, but till then it's a lot of fun, with a great cast of characters. Not for those with weak stomachs, as the blood and gory are aplenty.
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2012
A very basic and run-of-the-mill prison drama. Unlike those set in the states or abroad, it does away with most of the shockploitaitojn (rape etc.) and instead tries to portray the doings and undoings of the in-prison 'Mafia' or crime cartel and how Mel Gibson fights and frowns his way from new shmug to top dog (or does he? No spoilers here). Problem is, that the film pretty much delivers both on the action front but also when it comes to chlichees, no twist you don't see coming, no character that does not wear his character on his face all the time like a Dickens villain (good guys look nice, bad guys look bad, stupid guys look stupid etc. you get the drift). Still, when the film pits the grim Gibson against the rest of the (prison)world, he can still carry the tension but the film just lacks other interesting characters and more twists in the storyline to keep you guessing. Nothing to write home about and this won't resurrect Gibson's dead career but if you catch it on TV at some point, you might as well.
Super Reviewer
February 24, 2012
This is a movie with a fresh, fast pace, which leads us to follow Mel Gibson and theft at the border, they do take him to a prison in Mexico. And that happens in jail most of the movie ... but surprised you are well spent.
Good points are the performances, until the child is able to have good acting, the story is simple, but is become complex, to be a film something solid. The action sequences are not flawless but if resaltables.
As for the script, the principle is wrong and falls in some dialogs something absurd, but is improving to give us a script acceptable but not remarkable.
Finally "Get the Gringo" is a movie that is entertaining only.. but why 4 stars? Because it fulfills its mission: to entertain, and yet not fall into the stupid and unnecessary and gives us a film, not brilliant but to enjoy.
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