Review: ‘Get the Gringo’ (MA) ★ ★ ★

MEL Gibson co-wrote and stars in this vigorous actioner directed by Adrian Grunberg and played out for the most part in a Tijuana jail, a vile stew of official corruption and social disorder for which the 18th century British prison of Bedlam might have been the model.

Carrying his years well enough, Gibson plays a career bank robber determined to survive in that Mexican horror until he can get out, recover the loot and retire at the beach. His screenplay, demanding a big cast, most not speaking, but all behaving convincingly, at Grunberg’s command, takes enough byzantine twists and turns to satisfy any action lover.

Of its kind, “Get The Gringo” displays a freshness that alleviates its dramatic improbability. The jail is a self-governing social structure under the suzerainty of Frank (Peter Stormare) who suffers from a rare liver disorder. Which is why he protects the 10-year-old boy with the same blood group against the day when he has to provide the transplant. The boy befriends the Gringo. And he has a handsome mother with high moral values.

Money, political power, an intimation of sex, mega-violence. Despite some blatant bloopers that don’t really detract from the film’s impact, it’s uninhibited fair average quality escapist fare.


At Dendy, Hoyts and Limelight

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