Do you think you could lose your life for saying the wrong things? What happens when a not-so-smart black man finds himself in Mexico? Unfortunately for everyone in this film, Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) was the Gringo (a Mexican slang for anyone who isn’t Mexican, usually used to refer to Americans) with an unwanted death wish. What kind of mess could a regular Gringo like Harold possibly find himself in? The answer to that question is a Mexican drug cartel/white American corporate thriller that would have you comfortably sitting and laughing your brains out in a theater, and yes! this was what warranted a buzz review of Gringo.
Gringo had a dry, first couple of scenes, so don’t expect to get very excited at the beginning. However, as the film progresses, the action kicks in with a lot of laughter and tragedy (oops, did I say that out loud? nah you read it). This was a film created for the audience alone and it holds no form of humor back in a world of Mexican chaos.
Our very own David Oyelowo happens to be a British-Nigerian from the Yoruba tribe (I’m more than proud to announce that we may even be cousins. Who knows?) who plays Harold Soyinka (which is properly pronounced as “Show-yin-CAR”); a clueless business man who is at the mercy of his back-stabbing colleagues and a Mexican drug lord (talk about being misunderstood). I loved the fact that the plot of the film was designed to keep audiences happy as David delivers an outstanding performance as the dumbest person in the entire film. That’s right, my buzz review of Gringo centers around one of the most humiliated black men in cinematic history.
Thandie Newton, on the other hand plays Harold’s wife, Bonnie Soyinka; an excessive spender who has Harold in a lot of debt, but that’s not all she has him in…haha. You should recall Thandie as the multiple award wining actress from Crash (2004), For Coloured Girls (2010), and Half of a Yellow Sun (2013). As with her previous performances, she delivers a stellar performance as the wife of our favorite dummy in the film.
Charlize Theron graces her character with a role that only very few actresses can believably pull off, she was certainly up to the task and brilliant, you can find everything about her here. The story flows effortlessly and had the whole cinema laughing uncontrollably. The savvy and humor that went into the creation of Gringo was top notch and commendable. Film Director; Nash Edgerton managed to put together a comedic piece would appeal to most audiences around the world and Ah! Olorun Olodumare oo! was I happy to see this film.
Nonetheless, the outstanding things about Gringo includes the cast and the intelligent fusion of comedy, action, betrayal, thriller and drama to create a seriously funny, but unserious film. You could just sense how natural and comfortable the actors were in their various roles and it all seemed flawless. I was so wowed by David Oyelowo’s Nigerian accent (pfft…omo Yoruba) and it made me wonder why we didn’t just have a full house with Funke Akindele and Toyin Abraham (it would have been a complete mayhem-fest).
It is also worthy of note that I haven’t seen someone play the role of a jerk in while the way Joel Edgerton (Richard Rusk) did in this film. Nonetheless, the plot could have been a little more defined. However, since the movie was not meant to be taken too seriously, it was a bit pardonable but way too noticeable.
I cannot finish my buzz review of Gringo without acknowledging Amanda Seyfried’s performance as sunny. She played the sweetheart of the film and gave a performance surpassed the expectations of most. Gringo tells a story where Harold is the beginning and end of all problems, and if that does not make for a great comedy, I don’t know what will. This was a comedy film that understood what it took to make people laugh, with top notch acting but a poor plot execution. Have a good laugh but don’t forget to get a copy of the Beatles greatest album of all time after you see this movie.
Let me know how you feel about my buzz review of Gringo in the comments section below, but first, random people stand a chance to win our Buzz Lines Movie Themed T-shirts (available only to people located within Lagos, Nigeria), simply answer my little trivia below:
Buzzers Concensus:(3 / 5)
Audience Consensus (Vote here):
Official Synopsis of Gringo:
Mild-mannered U.S. businessman Harold Soyinka finds himself at the mercy of backstabbing colleagues, local drug lords and a black ops mercenary after traveling to Mexico. Crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal, Harold fights to survive an increasingly dangerous situation that raises the question — is he out of his depth or two steps ahead?
Official Trailer of Gringo: