GRINGO, a dark comedy mixed with white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, explores the battle of survival for businessman Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) when he finds himself crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal. –IMDB
When I first watched the trailer for Gringo and watched characters argue over money, drugs, and get into gun fights I assumed it was just another action film with comedy mixed in. I was not excited in the slightest to take almost two hours of my life to watch the entire film. However, after watching Gringo I can say that I was dead wrong in my initial impression, this was one of the better films I have seen in 2018 to date.
The plot of the film is that a pharmaceutical company owned but the worst human beings ever are in the process of selling their company to some one else, before they can do so they must cut ties with a cartel they make drugs for. The main character, Harold played by David Oyelowo , is the director of operations and normally takes care of their relations with Mexico. Harold is the best human being as he cares for everyone he meets and does his best to do right by everyone. You can imagine his surprise when the cartel decides that he is the big boss that they need to kidnap in order to force the company to keep selling drugs to them. His life is turned upside down when he is hunted by multiple factions all with different intentions.
The best aspects of Gringo are the cast, the main character, and blunt action. One of the reasons I enjoyed Gringo so much was their use of flawed characters. Every single person in the film save for Harold was a scumbag that constantly faulted on their morals for their own personal gain. Watching them struggle with such inner conflict and then deciding to do the selfish act was enjoyable because they showed depth and you could understand their thought process enough to have sympathy.
Harold was one of my favorite characters ever because this film could have easily casted a frail, pale, mousy Caucasian actor like Michael Cera to be their lead. We’ve seen the zero to hero trope so many times before but because the main lead was a Nigerian immigrant added depth to the film. He would explain to his peers that he came to America thinking that he could achieve the American dream by working hard and playing by the rules abd what ife was like in his home country. His accent was refreshing when surrounded by the American and Mexican actors and you can appreciate his kindness towards others because many people underestimate him because of his heritage and make fun of his Nigerian name. I never thought he was the main character when watching the trailer and I am so glad I was wrong!
Obviously in a film about the struggle of drugs and cartels, there will be gun fights. However, what I did not expect are for so many people to die in this film. Literally characters who are beloved and you want to live a good and long life are snatched from existence in a second without any long winded death speeches or even time to appreciate them. It is so fast and so sudden that it feels real which is so unique because in these action comedies you can expect plot armor to shield most characters from any real harm. I respected them for their conviction!
Overall I do highly recommend checking out Gringo, while the ending is a bit lack luster, the prior three foruths of the film is on point and enjoyable. The advertisement for the film was done completely wrong in my opinion because it hardly reflects the best aspects of this film but that could have been their intention! For more information on Gringo, be sure to check out their IMDB page!