originally this list had a very specific focus- now it's basically just english-language action cinema post-matrix.
Get the Gringo
The odds are against him. So is everyone else.
A career criminal (Gibson) nabbed by Mexican authorities is placed in a tough prison where he learns to survive with the help of a 9-year-old boy.
After Mel Gibson’s much publicised problems it is nice to see him return to the types of films that made him famous in the first place. Get the Gringo is a very old fashioned action movie full of wisecracks, black humour and bloody action. Whilst it does little new it is at least set in an original location - a Mexican prison that is more like a mini town with numerous shops, children and guns dotted around the complex.
Not only does Gibson look like he is having fun but it is pleasing to see he can still hack it as an action star. However, unlike some of his contemporaries he at least acts his age here as he uses…
Get the Gringo AKA How I spent my Summer Vacation was a comeback film for Mel Gibson. It was also written and produced by Mel which is probably why his character is so cool and witty. A bit of an ego massage.
Anyway, Mel plays a character escaping from the police in a car chase as he races towards the Mexican border. He has a bag full of money in the car with him, seemingly the result of some kind of robbery. He manages to crash through the border to be pounced upon by the Mexican police on the other side. A couple of the corrupt police officers take the money for themselves and have Mel thrown into an open…
This shows Gibson really still has got what it takes to make a film work. The outline of the plot here isn't very original, but what's in it is refreshingly different to entertain its audiences for its running time.
I'm not sure what the Mexican tourist board would make of this film, but I was more than willing to grant it just a snippet of suspension of disbelief and allow myself to be entertained by a story that is told with perfect pacing. It strikes a fine balance in exposition and action. Not so in tone, however. It switches between light and serious clumsily, thus distancing me from caring about the characters.
Still, Gibson is in top form here. He is charming and has enough energy to pull off some wonderful action sequences. What remains is a well made and very entertaining action film that is certainly worthy of your attention.
It seems like I've given a hell of a lot of films 3 and a half stars lately!
There's a lot wrong with Get The Gringo (a much better title than the stupidly non-committal How I Spent My Summer Vacation) but there's a lot more that's right with it. The main thing that's right with it is Mel Gibson, and as someone whose formative years were littered with repeated watches of the first three Lethal Weapon films, this was a particular delight to me.
In-between being racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic and just generally a very naughty boy in the last few years, Gibson stuck this film out a couple of years ago more or less under the radar. The result…
A wily action-drama that succeeds thanks to its leading man and its south-of-the-border energy, Adrian Grunberg's "Get the Gringo" is an entertaining if small-scale piece of work. Starring Mel Gibson as an American bad guy stuck in a Mexican prison, the film is full violent color and inviting verve.
"Get the Gringo" revolves around a career criminal who literally crashes into the US/Mexican border and finds himself incarcerated in something more like a community than a prison. Setting up allegiances in order to survive and prosper, Gibson's American eventually makes his way to acts of both liberation and vengeance.
Grunberg, wisely, focuses on Gibson's character and the charm that the actor exudes with every word. The character is no stretch…
Crime pays. Lesson learned.
A prison sentence that turns out to be a fun-filled summer vacation packed to the brim with blood, bullets, mistaken identities, and a whole heaping fuckton of cigarettes.
Interesting cinematography, and the movie moves from personal to local to national with all the grease of a bacon bath.
Mel Gibson plays with a certain zest an American bank robber who gets trapped in a town-style Mexican prison, where he befriends a boy and his mother, and sets out to recover the stolen money stolen by corrupt Mexican cops. As much as I'm tired of America's obsession with the seedier aspects of Mexico, the film boasts an authentic cast of native Spanish speakers, which is a relief; plus even Gibson has the courage to use some Spanish himself. As a vehicle for the former action star, some may feel a rekindling of what he once was. Well, Gibson is fine, and the film does have its moments of cheeky cleverness, but the lulls outweigh the good bits and the…
I have to say... it was way better than a expected of. Still not a great movie, but a good way to spend some downtime: it was not a waste of time.
I know this movie died a quick death when it came out, but I think it deserved better. I knew nothing about this going into it and I thought it was a helluva ride. Mel Gibson is perfect for this role and it was nice seeing him in this kinda movie again.
I really like that Mel Gibson is back in the business. I watch his movies and put his personal life aside.
But for this film... It was not a great experience. Some poor acting and cheap look. A b-movie with a boring high frame rate look. I personally prefer movies in 24p. Call me old if you will.
Mel's little-too-public meltdown came at a cost, and this guy with boundless charm and good looks suddenly revealed some rot behind the charm and - and maybe this is just bad timing - that he was starting to look a bit like Abe Vigoda.
But he always had a knack for playing a bastard rogue, so he's making lemonade out of it here, playing a criminal who couldn't get away with the money and got tossed into a Mexican prison, which he describes as "the world's shittiest mall" where anything can be bought - not just the standard prison shit, but organ transplants, swanky parties, or having your whole damn family move in there with you.
This leads an otherwise…
Why the fuck didn't anyone tell me that there was a sequel to Payback sitting in my Netflix queue for god knows how long?
No joke, this should legitimately be considered an indirect sequel to Payback. It overtly tips its hat to Payback at least twice. The character and the plot are straight out of Payback. Mel Gibson quietly made a sequel to Payback! This is awesome.
I'm so happy. Am I late to this party? It's cool. This is cool. This is awesome.
A film that echoes Gibson's Payback, and never really delivers on the title (I assumed this would be a chase movie, but he is stuck in a Mexican prison the entire film), this is halfway decent as a kind of caper film, but doesn't rate as an action film. It's well shot and Gibson's narration does provide some welcome humour, but ultimately the experience feels like nothing new, and its finale barely satisfies due to lack of any real invention or wit.
The best thing about this movie is the setting. I found the inner workings of the prison quite fascinating. Mel didn't disappear into his character, I was very aware that I was watching famous actor Mel Gibson. I also would have liked more background on how he acquired his skills, the movie mentions one thing but he is all-powerful in a Bond or Bourne way and I found it hard to believe. It's still a fun way to spend 95 minutes and a lot better than most of the recent Stallone or Schwarzenegger action films that have been released in theaters lately.
I was super worried when the prison boss showed because I thought it was just Peter Stormare in a bath robe. I'm willing to tolerate him being all manner of ethnic European mobsters, but I was ready to draw the line at "Mexican". I ended up very relieved that it turned out to just be a Hispanic man that looks a lot like Peter Stormare. But then Peter Stormare actually showed up anyway as an Italian(?) mob boss. I'm just saying, we as a society need to place limits on him. If we look away for a second, that Swede will be playing goddamn Yakuza bosses and Congolese warlords before you can fucking blink.
Also Get the Gringo is a…
I was looking for some sort of definitive prison film list on letterboxd, but didn't find one that was quite…