There was a time when Mel Gibson was known solely for his work on the big screen. The Lethal Weapon series, Braveheart, Signs, Payback, Maverick, Bird on a Wire, Conspiracy Theory, this is a list that contains a lot of quality movies.
But after a bunch of racial slurs made the headlines combined with a 7 year hiatus from making new movies, we finally see a glimpse of the oldschool Mel we have grown to know and love.
‘Get The Gringo’ or ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’ as it’s being called in the UK, is the story of Driver, who is in essence the combination of Porter from ‘Payback’ and Martin Riggs from the ‘Lethal Weapon’ series.
‘Driver’ is a nameless man who we see getting thrown in a mexican prison in the opening sequence. Not just any prison, it’s practically a small town thats filled with scumbags who trade in drugs, weapons and other illegal properties. This is ofcourse the kind of role that Mel Gibson has known to portray often, a flawed yet strong man who ultimately has the heart in the right place.
‘El Pueblito’ as the prison is called arguably is the biggest star of the movie.
Wonderfully realised in an old prison in Veracuz, Tijuana which once held over 3 times the maximum population of 2000, it’s not only wonderfully set up but also expertly shot by the craftsman Benoit Debie who has movies like ‘Enter The Void’ and ‘Irreversible’ on his resumé.
The main storyline is absolutely bonkers, revolving around a organ transplant, but the side story about a boy who inhabits the prison with it’s mother and meets up with our lead Driver is decent enough.
Definitely a case of good intentions, but not all as expertly executed as possible.
Well shot and featuring a Mel Gibson that’s on his return to great form, it’s worth a watch.
That watch however, proves to be different for several regions, as it’s being released on VOD in the USA and skipping a theatrical release. As opposed to Europe which does get the cinematic release.
Whether that’s due to the fact that mr. Gibson has been quite controversial in the past is hard to disclose, however, if you remember the good times you had with ‘Payback’ you owe it to yourself to check this out at some point.
Gritty, Fun and definitely Entertaining with a capital E.