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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)


Zero Dark Thirty (2012)


Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

The poster for the movie says, “The Greatest Manhunt in History.”  It should have said, “The Greatest Waste of Time.”  The running time of the movie is 157 minutes.  They literally could have cut the running time in half and told the same story and it actually might have been entertaining.

Zero Dark Thirty Strong

The movie is about the 10 year long “Manhunt,” capture, and killing of Osama Bin Laden after the attacks that occurred on 9/11/2001.

We all know by now that the fact that it took America 10 years to find Bin Laden and kill him is an absolute disgrace.  Of course, it was a great thing when it finally got done, but it sure took us long enough.  Zero Dark Thirty plays on that fact.  The movie is a very long, drawn-out depiction of the steps that we took to finally track down America’s Most Wanted and destroy him.  The film isn’t a decade long, but it certainly tries to feel that way.  It is so boring and slow at times that I wanted to turn it off at a number of different points.

Zero Dark Thirty Dark Chastain

The other thing about this film is that it is hard to tell how factual it really is.  It is based on a true story, but do we really know all of the facts?  Unfortunately I think that people will watch this movie and assume that it is 100% accurate.  How do we know the truth about what happened?  A lot of the information about the “Manhunt” is classified.  How will we ever know the real truth?

The film tried so hard to be this big epic movie.  It failed quite miserably as far as I am concerned.

Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Sound Editing.  To me, that is so comical.  It shows that the Academy has truly lost its mind to even nominate such garbage in the first place.

Zero Dark Thirty Chastain

This movie was almost as far away from Best Picture as you can get.  The acting was mediocre at best, especially Jessica Chastain’s performance.  Not even close to top notch.    The screenplay was very un-original.  They took a story that everyone in the world knows about and turned it into a screenplay.  That is not original in my book.  There were so many unnecessary scenes that could have been cut out of the movie that it was a complete disgrace to filmmaking.  The editor should have been fired, not nominated for an Academy Award.

I’m glad that the movie only won an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing.  It was better that it didn’t actually win.  It technically tied with Skyfall (2012) for Best Sound Editing.  Skyfall should have won.  I don’t know what is more embarrassing for Zero Dark Thirty, the fact that it was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and only won 1 of them or the fact that the only one that it actually won was a tie for Best Sound Editing.

Maybe the movie only got so much recognition because Kathryn Bigelow directed it.  Her film The Hurt Locker (2008) was very solid and was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won 6 of them.  That film made her the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director.  Were the Academy Award nominations for Zero Dark Thirty just a sort of blue ribbon recognizing Bigelow for her participation in trying again?

Bigelow had no support from her cast which most notably includes Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Reda Kateb, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau, Jeremy Strong, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez, James Gandolfini, Stephen Dillane, Frank Grillo, and Joel Edgerton.  Maybe the cast was not of much help because their characters had way more than enough time to develop, but they never really did.

Zero Dark Thirty Chandler

Kathryn Bigelow was in way over her head when she decided to direct Zero Dark Thirty and it shows.  The film is a steaming pile of cow dung.  The only decent part of the movie is when they showed Seal Team Six raiding Bin Laden’s lair.

1134604 - Zero Dark Thirty

I recommend staying as far away from this movie as possible.  Save yourself a precious almost 3 hours of your life and don’t watch it.

I rate this movie a 2 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Run.