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Gringo (2018)

Gringo (2018)

I did not expect much from a movie titled Gringo.  From the trailer it appeared like it would be a fun, goofy, action, dark dramedy.  Sometimes it is OK to watch dumb humor and that is what I expected with Gringo.  How many other movies where the title is a racial slur would you expect to be any good?

With a cast that includes the likes of Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Sharlto Copley, and Amanda Seyfried, it would be hard to go wrong, right?

The movie is about how an average business trip to Mexico for Harold Soyinka, quickly takes a turn for the worse and he finds himself in a tangled mess between a drug cartel, the police, and his backstabbing boss.

The movie was directed by Nash Edgerton and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes David Oyelowo, Thandie Newton, Alan Ruck, Kenneth Choi, Melonie Diaz, Harry Treadaway, and Yul Vasquez.

This is one of those movies that overcompensates in the trailer to make the movie look a lot more entertaining than it actually is.

I has its comedic moments, but not very many of them.  If has some action, but not very much of it.  You get to like the characters, but on a little bit.  I was actually shocked at how not funny this movie was.

How do you assign the comedy genre to a movie that is not very funny?  This has become more and more common for Hollywood, these days.  There are too many subgenres.  This is an example of a movie that is trying to be too many of those subgenres at once.  It wants to be a comedy (dark, stupid, witty, goofy), drama, and action.  You cannot always have your cake and eat it too.  You cannot lump all of those genres in to a film and always expect to pull it off.

This movie bleeds with underused talent.  It is a comedy for actors that are not known for comedy and it shows because they have a lot of trouble actually pulling off humor of any kind.

Sharlto Copley stole the show.  He managed to bring the most amount of comedy and entertainment to the film, even though it still fell short.

The movie was just not very fun.  I found myself a little bored about two thirds of the way through.

Overall, Gringo is a poorly written “dramedy” with a little bit of action.  Even the cast cannot save this film.  It is worth a rental if you are curious about the movie, but do not waste your money in the theater unless you have a MoviePass.

I rate this movie a 4 on a scale of 1-10.


If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:


Masterminds (2016)

We’re the Millers (2013)

Keeping up with the Joneses (2016)

The Hangover (2009)

The Hangover II (2011)

The Hangover III (2013)

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)

Due Date (2010)

Hall Pass (2011)

Office Christmas Party (2016)

Bad Words (2013)

Identity Thief (2013)


Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow (2018)

This movie appeared like it would be a cross between Atomic Blonde (2017) and Black Swan (2010).  I always find it interesting how after such a unique film like Atomic Blonde is released, shortly after we get a copycat movie (I will talk more about this concept in a post in the near future).

I have gotten fed up with actors and actresses feeling the need to be politicians.  As if their political opinions matter.  Please just do what you do best and stick to filmmaking.  It gets a little old when they stir up the negativity.

All politics aside, Jennifer Lawrence is a talented actress.  I feel that she proved her ability in her role in Silver Linings Playbook (2012).  She has a tendency to make insanely outrageous statements that are about as inappropriate as some of the things that come out of President Donald Trump’s mouth.  This has started to taint my view of Lawrence as an actress.  If she was a little more careful with her words publicly, I would respect her more.

Prior to seeing this movie, I went to the theater with an open mind.  Instead of having a biased and negative opinion before even seeing the film, I thought I would let Jennifer Lawrence’s acting do the talking and drown out the crazy things that she says publicly.

Red Sparrow is about a damaged Russian ballerina who finds herself training to be a “Sparrow”, a Special Agent of sorts for the Russian government.  She is tasked with getting information from the American C.I.A. and becomes entangled between both governments working against each other.

The movie was directed by Francis Lawrence and the noteworthy cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Shoenaerts, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciaran Hinds, Joely Richardson, Douglas Hodge, Bill Camp, Sakina Jaffrey, and Thekla Reuten.

The film did in fact, feel like a cross between Atomic Blonde and Black Swan.  However, there was much less action than Atomic Blonde and far more drama.  It has the surprising sexual darkness of Black Swan, only much more magnified.  The graphic violence in the movie is a lot more twisted and vicious than Atomic Blonde.

I did not think that Jennifer Lawrence was going to be able to pull off a Russian accent.  I was worried that this would really take away from the movie.  For the most part, the accent was OK though.  Towards the end of the film, it started going in and out, but overall was believable.  Her performance was quite gritty.  There were some surprisingly twisted nude scenes.  It definitely has the shock value.

Edgerton’s character was likable, but he was a little underused.  His character was not quite developed enough.  That was acceptable, because it really is Jennifer Lawrence’s movie.  However, I feel like this did take away from the film.  The chemistry between the male lead and female lead was just not there.

I did feel like Red Sparrow was trying really hard to be like Atomic Blonde.  All the way down to platinum blonde hair and Stoli vodka.  Charlize Theron was a much bigger badass in Atomic Blonde than Jennifer Lawrence was Red Sparrow.  Atomic Blonde was a lot more fun and exciting.  The dark subject matter in Red Sparrow was not broken up with any humor or much fun.  I feel that took away from the overall quality of movie because it makes the 2 hours and 19 minutes runtime feel like that amount of time.  They did not cut the tension and therefore it felt like it was trying too hard to be too dark.

This is a shadowy spy thriller that pulls no punches.  It is intentionally and methodically puzzling.  The film is a little rough around the edges, but overall is well-made and well-acted.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.


If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:


Atomic Blonde (2017)

Salt (2010)

Black Swan (2010)

Casino Royale (2006)

Skyfall (2012)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Movie Picture of the Day 8/3/13

2 Days in the Valley Theron Hatcher gun

Charlize Theron and Teri Hatcher fighting for a gun in the crime drama 2 Days in the Valley (1996).

Prometheus (2012) (Guest Author)

Prometheus Poster

Prometheus (2012)

From Director Ridley Scott comes the fifth installment in the Alien series – a prequel. It stars Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, and Charlize Theron. The story follows the crew of the spaceship Prometheus, who is following a star map found by archaeologists as they were researching many different ancient cultures. They believe that the inhabitants of the planet they have landed on could help them discover where and how the human race began, but they find something horrifying instead. Instead of finding out how humanity started, they may very well have brought about the end of humanity.

Prometheus White Guy
I must admit, I went into this movie knowing I wouldn’t like it. A prequel to Alien (1979)? With Charlize Theron? How could it possibly be any good?

I was wrong. Ridley Scott never disappoints (well, with the exception of 1997’s G.I. Jane, a pile of excrement I prefer to pretend never existed), and Prometheus took my breath away. The special effects were amazing, the acting was first-notch, and the ending…well, I’ll just say Wow! and leave it at that.

Noomi Rapace plays Elizabeth Shaw, and she was outstanding. I had never seen her in anything (as I never saw the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)), but I look forward to seeing her in more movies. She is a great actress and I totally identified with the character. She was very Ellen Ripley-ish.


Michael Fassbender was the android David, and he was fabulous. I was very much reminded of Rachel in Blade Runner (1982) – he was almost wistful and obviously wished to be human.

Charlize Theron was Meredith Vickers, and she made my blood run cold. She was icy, calculating, and oddly like the android David; they looked enough alike to be brother and sister. It was odd and effective.

Prometheus Theron

Guy Pearce played Peter Weyland, Meredith’s father. I must admit, he rocked the old-man makeup; it was so good that he was in several scenes before I realized who it was. As always, he was wonderful in his role.

Prometheus Fassbender
I give the movie an 8 out of 10.

Buy, rent, or run?

Buy it on DVD and watch it over and over again, as I plan to do. So far, I’ve seen it in the theater, watched it twice on On Demand, and I am currently gloating over my newly-purchased Prometheus DVD.

Prometheus is one of the movies that Brock would like to see.

Guest Author: Eddie D. Shackleford is a writer and loves to write about entertainment, movies, and TV. You can follow Eddie @Eddie20Ford