It’s been a tough decade for movie icon Mel Gibson. From the mid nineties to the early 2000’s where he had the Hollywood world at his feet, to now where he is a publicist’s nightmare and many Hollywood studios won’t go near him. However, if there is one thing that Gibson can do, it’s playing a gritty tough guy with limited people skills but a heart of gold. Mel Gibson returns to form in ‘Get the Gringo’, a US straight to video on demand (VOD). It had a theatrical release in the UK under the name ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’.
Get the Gringo DVD and Movie Review
Mel Gibson returns to type in 2012's Get the Gringo, a gritty action movie where the main character shoots firsts and asks questions later. Check out the DVD and movie review.
Get the Gringo Movie Trailer
Get the Gringo Movie Review
Right from opening scene the movie starts as it would carry on: fast, action-packed, and bloody. As he tries to out-run the cops as his berates his partner in crime for bleeding all over the money they just stole, we learn straight away that this ‘Driver’ (Gibson) is not a nice guy, even if he and his partner are disguised as clowns. Despite this less than congenial introduction, we immediately appreciate his skills, determination, and attitude. You’ll need to suspend your disbelief as Gibson soon finds himself stripped of his money and dumped in the most diabolical prison situation imaginable, and one where his only way out is his own resourcefulness and toughness. Picture Gibson’s ‘Porter’ from the movie Payback transported from a seedy urban setting in the US to a free-for-all Mexican prison. In fact, ‘Get the Gringo’ could almost be a sequel to ‘Payback’, so if you loved the 1999 film, you’ll appreciate the 2012 equivalent.
Driver/Gringo: “Is this a prison, or the world's sh*ttiest mall?”
The Mexican prison is called 'El Pueblito', a dangerous community-like prison complete with men, women, children, shops, and drug dens. The prisoners seemingly do whatever they want. El Pueblito is unofficially run by one of its inmates, a Mexican crime lord named Javi, who we first see wearing a bathrobe talking on a cell phone, ordering his underlings around the prison yard. Even an adaptable criminal like Driver is clearly out of his depth. Fortunately he meets a streetwise 10 year old who explains how the El Pueblito works, but we soon learn that ‘The Kid’ has problems of his own. He is being kept alive for the sole purpose of providing prison kingpin Javi with a liver. Gibson’s Driver must find a way of staying alive, escaping, saving the kid and his mother, and hopefully getting his money back.
Get the Gringo never hides from its surrealism; in fact it embraces it with the wit and one-liners that Gibson films used to be famous for. It also offers plenty of opportunity for gore and gratuitous violence. The film creaks slightly around the inevitable moments where Driver’s heart melts and he forms a relationship with the kid and his mom. However, it’s an inescapable truth in a movie such as this, and essential for the payoff further down the track.
If you are interested in, and capable of, pushing aside the Mel Gibson from the newspapers, 'Get the Gringo' offers a fast paced, fun, and gratifying action movie. Get the Gringo shows that if he can sort out his personal life, Mel Gibson has definitely still got it.
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Get the Gringo Cast
- Mel Gibson: Gringo/Driver
- Kevin Hernandez: Kid
- Daniel Giménez Cacho: Javi
- Dolores Heredia: Kid's Mom
- Peter Stormare: Frank
- Dean Norris: Bill
- Bob Gunton: Mr. Kaufmann
- Peter Gerety: Embassy Guy
- Scott Cohen: Frank's lawyer
Get the Gringo DVD, Blu Ray and Video on Demand
Citing a changing of ways people are seeing movies, Get the Gringo was first released in the United States on Video on Demand (VOD) in May 2012, starting exclusive preview window on DirecTV. The DVD and Blu-ray was released soon after, in July 2012.