DVD Review: Get the Gringo – it's surprisingly good

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Get the Gringo ~ 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment sent me a DVD screener to review Get the Gringo on my dad blog. Guess what? Mel Gibson is back and he does a good job in this film as an actor and writer. To be honest, I had low expectations for this movie because I had not heard of it before. Boy was I wrong — Get the Gringo is better than I thought it would be. The film is on the gritty side and reminds me a little of Payback (another Mel Gibson movie I like). BTW, Get the Gringo is available now on DVD and Blu-ray. Below is a quick summary of the film. Continue reading for the full movie review of Get the Gringo.

The 411 for Get the Gringo

The story An American criminal ends up in a Mexican prison after crossing the border
Appropriateness for children Not really appropriate for children. There is violence, sexual content and a lot of bad language.
Positives
  • Good ending
  • Kevin Hernandez is excellent
Negative
  • The captions are hard to read
Release date July 17, 2012
Rating Rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some drug use and sexual material
Runtime 96 minutes
Genre Action, drama

Mel Gibson is a criminal
The story starts off with an American criminal (played by Mel Gibson) fleeting U.S. law enforcement officers. During the chase, the American crashes through a border wall/fence and ends up in Mexico. He is arrested and sent to a Mexican prison. As far as I can tell, he’s the only American (gringo) there. As a result, he’s pretty much on his own and has no one to help him. Meanwhile, there are some people on the outside looking for him because of something he stole. As a result, the gringo has to defend himself from convicts in the prison, criminals outside of the prison, and crooked law enforcement officers in Mexico. BTW, I don’t really know the gringo’s name because he used multiple aliases in the movie.

Love the ending
Get the Gringo was a little predictable in the sense that you know Mel Gibson’s character will try to escape and outwit the bad guys. But other than that and a few other predictable elements (teaming up with a boy and falling for the boy’s mother), the story was intriguing and featured some unexpected twists. I especially like the ending. I don’t want to spoil it for you so I’m just going to say I love how the gringo found a way to get back at someone in his life. It was totally unexpected.

Captions are hard to read
Parts of the story is in Spanish so you have to read the captions to understand what they are saying. The problem is that the captions are small and hard to read on my 25″ TV. If you don’t understand Spanish, you should watch this DVD on a big screen or sit closer to the TV (maybe both).

Kevin Hernandez has a nice career ahead of him
Mel Gibson does a nice job playing the main character (the gringo) in the film. However, Kevin Hernandez (plays a Mexican kid in the prison) really stood out in the movie. He’s wonderful in this film and will most likely have a good career as an actor. Get the Gringo also featured Dolores Heredia (kid’s mom), Daniel Giménez Cacho (Javi), Peter Stormare (Frank), Dean Norris (Bill), Bob Gunton (Mr. Kaufmann), Peter Gerety (embassy rep), Scott Cohen (Frank’s lawyer), Aaron Cohen (hitman), Tom Schanley (Gregor), Tenoch Huerta (Carlos), Roberto Sosa (Carnal), and Jesus Ochoa (Javi’s brother). The movie was directed by Adrian Grunberg.

Bonus features
My DVD screener includes two bonus features:.

  • Get the Gringo: A Look Inside
    This 18-minute feature is a behind the scene look and commentary for the movie. My favorite part of this bonus feature is the section about how the prison depicted in the movie is actually based on a real prison. In the film, the Mexican prison was more like a slum city than a regular prison. There were little shopping booths, tent apartments, hookers, drug dealers, cafes, and even spouses and children. When I was watching the movie, I was thinking this can’t be a real prison. But according to the bonus feature, there wasn’t anything in the movie prison that wasn’t in the Mexican prison Mel Gibson took a tour of.

  • El Corrido del Gringo Music Video
    I enjoyed this music video even though the entire song is in Spanish.

Here’s some content provided by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment:

Not The Brightest Bulb On The Force
The stereotype of the ‘dumb cop’ has been featured in countless films over the years — and Get the Gringo is no exception! In this feature, we will list our five favorite dumb cops in film, including Inspector Clouseau in Pink Panther, Frank Drebin in Naked Gun and Super Troopers in Super Troopers.

  1. Officers Slaters and Michaels, Superbad
    In 2007’s Superbad, two cops — Officer Slater and Office Michael — run into Fogell as he illegally tries to buy beer with his fake ID. They offer to give him a lift to the party and instead make numerous stops along the way that exemplify inappropriate behavior for an officer of the law, including stealing beers, drinking on the job and improper use of their firearms.

  2. Super Troopers, Super Troopers
    Jay Chandrasekhar’s 2001 comedy Super Troopers centered around Vermont’s five dumbest cops, who have a knack for screwing up and an affinity for syrup-chugging contests for breakfast. However, when budget cuts threaten their livelihood and a murder case pops up, Thorny, Mac, Rabbit, Forster and Farva have to straighten up and quit their silly ways.

  3. Paul Bart, Paul Bart: Mall Cop
    In Paul Bart: Mall Cop, Paul Bart fails his training to be a New Jersey officer due to his severe hypoglycemia, which causes him to act foolishly on multiple occasions. Still keen for a career in uniform, he settles to work as a security guard — a mall cop — in a local New Jersey Mall. However, when a mall robbery occurs, it’s up to Bart to save the day with the aid of his trusted Segway.

  4. Frank Drebin, Naked Gun
    Leslie Nielsen stars as Detective Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun series, a police officer with a unique approach, solving kidnappings and crazy murder plots in a ludicrous fashion. The series took a cue from the slapstick style of comedy, seeing Nielsen performing wacky stunts and donning far-fetched “undercover” disguises.

  5. Inspector Clouseau, Pink Panther
    A bumbling and incompetent police inspector, Inspector Clouseau’s investigations are marked with chaos and misfortunes for himself and others, with Clouseau typically is at fault. Though he’s not particularly intelligent and will follow a completely idiotic theory to solve a crime, he can always be relied on to solve the crime, even if only by accident!

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9 thoughts on “DVD Review: Get the Gringo – it's surprisingly good

  1. Thank you for the easy and clear reviews. Major points were detailed and made a clear picture of what the movie, actors, ect where in the movie.

    1. I miss Netflix. I use to be able to check out new DVDs at the library the same week they come out at the stores. But now many of the studios are using the one month delay tactic on the libraries.

  2. Thank You For Your DVD Review Of Get the Gringo.
    I Haven’t Watched This Movie Yet But It Sounds Interesting.

  3. Thanks for letting me know about the captions. I love these kind of movies but when I have to read captions I get distracted to what is going on in the movie.

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