Get The Gringo (2012)
It's been way too long coming, but finally we have another Mel Gibson actioner that is worthy of the name. Forget all of the off-screen antics that you may have heard and concentrate on what cinemagoers shell out their hard earned cash for. This isn't a Lethal Weapon, but witty humour during times of trouble is something that Gibson does well. He has always displayed an uncanny ability to develop characters that are admittedly grizzled and flawed, but ostensibly well-meaning.
And here is no different. With the help of Adrian Grunberg in the directors chair and Gibson taking his turn as writer, we have an action movie with easily enough smarts to entertain those that like their guns with a healthy portion of substance in the form of a believable narrative and slick dialogue the like of which Gibson hasn't enjoyed since the days he teamed up with Danny Glover to catch the bad guys.
Now it is his turn to be a bad guy, however, with an opening scene introducing us to who the credits refer to only as 'Driver'. He and his partner in crime are on the run from American policemen spittingly close to the Mexican border. So close in fact, that they ram raid the border wall and end up arrested by the Mexican cops who are just as corrupt as the Americans they had been trying to escape from. His partner dead, his ill-gotten gains taken by the Mexican police and thrown into a prison holding cell. As the Driver suggests during one of the first of many much-appreciated narrations; "It could be worse, it could have been a hole in the desert".
So follows the life of an American stuck in an open Mexican prison. Free to move about as much or as little as he pleases, but safe in the knowledge that escaping from the boundaries of the prison would result in taking a bullet from the guards that surrounded the perimeter. Driver pays attention to the daily comings and goings, finds out who he needs to be wary of and more importantly, who can help him out. This brings him to into contact with a young boy, living in the prison with his mother, who has his own agenda entirely.
As I mentioned, the writing is clever and mostly funny, with Gibson's character regularly narrating over the storyline, giving the viewer some much need snippets of information. The story is simple enough not to warrant too much concentration of plot over script, which here is a good thing, as the script should be enjoyed as it is probably the best thing about the project.
Gibson is clearly back on form again, which is a delight for everyone that loves him. The Beaver cemented his return to the big screen, but not really in the manner to which we have become accustomed. This is the Gibson we have all grown to appreciate, treading with size eleven boots between Ransom and Lethal Weapon.
Altogether, great stuff from both Gibson and Grunberg which parries gunplay with admirable acting chops, which is all too rare a thing these days.