Action Blu-ray Review

‘Gringo’ Blu-ray Review: David Oyelowo is a Fish Out of Water in this Convoluted Crime Caper

July 9, 2018Ben MK

With its many intersecting story threads and numerous twists and turns, director Nash Edgerton's Gringo is a well intentioned crime caper that, unfortunately, ends up getting lost in its own narrative.

In this dark comedy, David Oyelowo plays Harold Soyinka, a middle manager at Promethium Pharmaceuticals in Chicago, who gets sent to Mexico to look into some missing inventory. While there, however, Harold discovers that his entire life has been a lie — his friend, Richard Rusk (Joel Edgerton), Promethium's president, is planning on merging the company, effectively putting Harold out of the job, and his wife, Bonnie (Thandie Newton), is leaving him for another man. Already heavily in debt and with nothing else to lose, Harold decides to stage his own kidnapping to try and wring $5 million from Richard and his co-president, Elaine Markinson (Charlize Theron). Little does Harold realize, however, that the pair have been doing business on the side with a ruthless cartel boss known as the Black Panther (Carlos Corona), and that his life is genuinely in jeopardy.

Throw Richard's brother, a former mercenary named Mitch (Sharlto Copley), a high-stakes medical marijuana deal, another affair, and a wannabe drug smuggler named Miles (Harry Treadaway) and his girlfriend, Sunny (Amanda Seyfried), into the mix, and you'd be hard-pressed to keep Gringo's multiple storylines straight. That said, despite the movie's flaws, you have to admire Edgerton and screenwriters Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone's ambition, as the result may be convoluted, but it's certainly anything but dull.

Gringo arrives on Blu-ray with a favorable looking 1080p transfer that's solid, while also coming off as fairly unspectacular at the same time. Image detail is well defined and the color palette is nicely saturated, whether it's a scene set in wintry Chicago or sweltering Veracruz, and the accompanying Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound mix does well with the film's low-key sound design, a fairly standard mix of dialogue, gunfire and vehicular mayhem. Generally speaking, this is a serviceable technical presentation that won't win any accolades, but it accomplishes the job.

VVS Films' single-disc Blu-ray release includes the following extras:

  • Making of Gringo (4:17) - Director Nash Edgerton and stars Joel Edgerton, Charlize Theron and David Oyelowo talk about what makes Gringo so intriguing.
  • Who is Harold (2:00) - A closer look at Oyelowo's character and his predicament in the movie.
  • Filming in Mexico (3:44) - The cast and crew talk about shooting on-location in Mexico and incorporating the local talent, crews and culture into the film.
  • Stunts (3:47) - A look at Nash Edgerton's background as a stunt man and how he approached the stunts of Gringo.

Gringo is available from VVS Films as of June 5th, 2018. The Blu-ray features English and French Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks, and is presented with English and French subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 51 min.

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