Get The Gringo ***

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“Get The Gringo” is a bad-ass surprise. Mel Gibson is back in great form and shows that he can still play intelligent characters that can kick ass. How did this movie go straight to DVD? Please do not tell me that it is because of Gibson’s personal life. I could not care less about what he does out side of the roles he takes.

“Get The Gringo” feels like the spiritual sequel to Gibson’s “Payback”. He plays a character very similar to Porter. The film opens with a car chase as Gibson, dressed as a clown, with a stack of cash and an accomplice bleeding in the back seat, races towards the Mexican border. He eludes the authorities by crashing through the wall only to find himself at the mercy of corrupt border guards on the other side. They take his money and put him in a Mexican Jail.

Now this is some jail. You can have your families move in with you. The inmates basically run the place under the constant guard of men with guns up top. This creates opportunities for gangsters and criminals to create their own enterprises.

Once Gibson is on the inside he seizes his opportunity to survive and begin planning his escape to get his money back. He befriends a tough kid and gets tangled up in his and his mothers personal situation. Their relationship becomes the heart of the story as Gibson takes him under his wing and watches out for him.

Eventually the people that Gibson took the money from come looking for it and all hell breaks loose. This is when we see Gibson, still convincing with a gun, battle all kinds of bad people. What really surprised me was how gritty the violence gets. This is an R rated film and it earns it.

The film was directed by Adrian Grunberg, who was an assistant director on other Gibson films such as “Apocolypto” and “Edge Of Darkness”. Here he seems like a seasoned veteran. He doesn’t just dwell on violence and action. He balances all the characters and gives them good screen time so that we get to know them pretty well. By the end there is more then just money and freedom on the line for Gibson’s character.

This movie is headed straight for DVD and VOD but it is building good buzz. Maybe this will find a good audience and help get Gibson’s career back on track. I look forward to seeing him in the Machete sequel.

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