Jungle
Gringo

Gringo

Movie
Director(s): 
In Theatres: 
Mar 09, 2018
Grade:
D
Running Time: 
110 minutes

Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) is a doormat and a buffon. He is being exploited for his unquestioning loyalty by bosses Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron) and Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton),  who have manufactured a “weed pill”. They’ve been able to build revenue for the company by illegally selling supplies in Mexico, and Harold has been tricked into participating in these illegalities.

Harold finds out the bosses plan to fire him after a rumored merger. Mistreated and nearly bankrupted by his wife, let down by the boss/friends, he decides to fake his kidnapping and claim the insurance policy.  Harold has no character arch and never comes into his own. Outside of planning to fake his death (when he finds out the kidnapping insurance was never purchased) to escape his sad circumstances, he never takes charge or responsibility. Everyone who isn’t Harold is so cruel and cold, none of their jokes land.

Harold’s cheating wife, Bonnie Soyinka, (Thandie Newton) is punished for her affair with extra pounds, and we’re all supposed to laugh because fat is bad and that fat is an outward reflection of a morally flawed person. That’s what that cheating witch deserves and no one will ever want her now, and as we all know, as Elaine so blithely states “fat people are funny”.

There is some action, good physical comedy, and a twist provided by Yul Vazquez’s character, Angel, but there is never any human connection. Never once did I feel connected to any of these characters nor was I made to care about where or who they would be by the end of the film.

Gringo no es bueno. I wouldn’t pay to see it and I’m prepared to ask for a refund on my time spent watching this. The only thing that keeps it from being an absolute stinker is that has such a talented cast. Still, that’s only like having half a flotation device while you’re exhausted from treading water in the center of the ocean.

Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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