Movie review: Gringo

19 Apr 2018 / 11:02 H.

IT TAKES a really good actor like David Oyelowo to pull off a sad pathetic character so brilliantly, that we end up rooting for him to come out on top.
Gringo is one of those movies that tends to get lost in a sea of big-budget action flicks, superhero franchise films or horror flicks that are out in the cinemas during this time of the year.
However, it is worth watching because of the actors and the black comedy.
Mild-mannered pharmaceutical company executive Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) finds out from his accountant that not only is he on the verge of bankruptcy due to his wife Bonnie’s (Thandie Newton) extravagant spending, but also that he might lose his job as his company is holding secret merger talks with a rival.

Back at the office, his boss Richard (Joel Edgerton) essentially belittles him in front of their co-workers and brushes aside his questions about the merger.
Meanwhile, his other boss Elaine (Charlize Theron) ignores his existence.
Due to some business issues, Richard and Elaine take Harold with them to their plant in Mexico. They keep Harold out of the loop while ordering the plant manager, Sanchez (Hernan Menoza), to stop selling their cannabis-based product Cannabax to a local drug lord nicknamed Black Panther (Carlos Corona).
Back at the hotel, Harold discovers that Richard and Elaine are up to something. When confiding this to his wife, she tells him she is leaving him for her lover.
Angry and confused, Harold comes up with a dumb kidnapping plot to extract money from his bosses.
Naturally, things just keep going downhill for this poor man, as not only is the drug kingpin now after him to gain access to the Cannabax’s formula, but he has also to deal with Richard’s mercenary-turned-humanitarian brother Mitch (Sharlto Copley) who has been hired to ‘rescue’ Harold.

There are many characters in this movie, some who contribute to the story, others who are just there as window-dressing.
Oyelowo is well cast in his role as a man who gets tired of being kicked around, and the stuff he has to resort to in order to survive are not only funny, but also believable. This film is highly recommended.

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