Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Get the Gringo aka How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2012)

How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Mel Gibson has been recently treated as a very bad guy by many people in real life. Probably this is the main reason why a decent movie like Get the Gringo has been directly released on DVD and Blu-ray discs without paying a visit to the cinema theaters (at least in the USA) first. Gibson has been labelled racist thus some see racism even in the title of Get the Gringo, which is a bit of a forced assertion. In unison with the accusations and similar to his past movie Payback, Mel Gibson plays a bad guy in the also known as How I Spent My Summer Vacation film. But the movie is actually good and it deserves a review despite Gibson's personal life.

In Get the Gringo, Mel Gibson performs the role of a criminal who is arrested by the Mexican police after stealing a lot of money and put in a hard to survive prison. The place is even tougher for outsiders but he is helped by a 10-year-old boy who stays in the jail with his mother. The boy has a secret, which makes him valuable for the local crime boss factually running the prison. Everyone else is against the gringo and he has not much time to save himself and the boy. The only other advantage he can rely on is his creativity.

As in Payback, Gibson's character is a criminal but along the course of the film we begin to care for him more and more. There is a bit of a character development so we can see there's also good in him although you should not expect really much in that direction from a movie like this. The gringo constantly uses smart tricks to ably outwit his adversaries, which easily appeals to the audience and since he does not kill innocent people it's not hard for him to get our sympathy despite his professional occupation.

The boy (Kevin Hernandez) is not annoying as sometimes happens with kids in such roles. The boy's acting is natural and he is not involved in any highly improbable stuff. The latter is reserved for Gibson, of course. Speaking of improbability, in the vein of Payback, Mel Gibson undertakes several fearless initiatives, which would be lethally dangerous in real life but fit perfectly well in the narrative of the movie.

There is a good portion of Spanish dialogue in the movie, which may bother some people. For me, it just makes the film more authentic. There is also a good deal of violence so the content is not suitable for everybody. The movie does not offer any general surprises and except for the details (which are the major virtues of the film anyway) it is easy to predict how everything will develop and end.

Get the Gringo does not sport the epic proportions of Braveheart or Apocalypto. Its actual continuance is less than 90 minutes but this just makes the movie well paced and reduces the superfluous content to minimum. The film is in no way a masterpiece or mandatory for seeing but it offers a high-grade entertainment if nothing more.


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