ACADEMY AWARDr Winner Mel Gibson* steals the show - and anything else he can get his hands on - in this explosive, nonstop thrill ride packed with equal parts action and attitude! A career criminal (Gibson) pulls off the heist of a lifetime, but his getaway plans go south of the border when a high-speed car chase lands him in a hard-core Mexican prison community known as "El Pueblito." Now, in order to survive, he'll have to fend off corrupt cops, take down ruthless druglords...and team up with a streetwise ten-year-old who has a few secrets of his own!
Mel Gibson's comeback continues with Get the Gringo
, an agreeable action-adventure featuring Gibson in the title role. The disgraced actor (he also cowrote the script) has very few friends on the Hollywood A-list these days, so it's not surprising that he is one of the few known commodities associated with the film; nor will this be remembered as one of his finer efforts. But it's still an enjoyable ride--literally, as the opening shots show a wild car chase with "Driver" (Gibson) at the wheel, dressed in a clown suit and accompanied by a huge haul of cash and a dead partner in crime, in a mad dash for the Mexican border. He makes it, but is quickly set upon by Mexican cops, who take his money and throw him in jail. But this is no ordinary prison. "El Pueblito" is exactly what its name suggests: a small city where inmates' families can live with them, all manner of crime goes completely unchecked, and everyone is either on the make or on the take. Driver quickly hooks up with a 10-year-old boy who knows the ropes (and has an attractive single mom), but there are inevitable complications, including a big one involving the kid and the majordomo who runs the joint. Meanwhile, lots of folks want to get their hands on the stolen money, not least Driver himself--but while the bad guys think they're manipulating him, naturally it's the other way around, and it's in the course of the scenes where his character wrests control from them that Gibson is at his best, displaying the roguish and entirely lethal charm the actor brought to many past roles. Get the Gringo
is a violent film, with a script that features some clever dialogue but a somewhat disjointed story (the heavy use of voice-over to explain things is never a good sign). Bonus material includes a short "making of" and some featurettes about the stunt work and other details. --Sam Graham