After watching annoying performances from an A-list cast in “A Wrinkle in Time,” I’ve found some much better performances in “Gringo,” a comedy with drug cartels, pharmaceutical companies, and a down-on-his-luck businessman caught between them. That concept could work if not for a confusing plot.
The movie stars David Oyelowo as a Nigerian businessman named Harold, who works at a Chicago pharmaceutical company that plans to turn medical marijuana into a pill. He is going broke because of his unfaithful wife (Thandie Newton), and he ends up going to Mexico with the company’s co-presidents (Joel Edgerton and Charlize Theron), who both plan to set him up. So, he pretends to get kidnapped in order to get back at his so-called bosses.
Edgerton asks his Special Ops brother Mitch (Sharlto Copley) to bring back Harold.
Then a drug lord named The Black Panther (Carlos Corona) wants Harold to give him the formula for the weed pill, and now, he’s in real danger.
And we meet a guitar shop employee named Miles (Harry Treadaway), who is offered $20 million for a drug smuggling job, and brings another employee named Sunny (Amanda Seyfried) along. They see Harold in danger and help him. That is until Mitch barges in to bring him home.
“Gringo,” directed by Joel’s brother Nash Edgerton, nicely splices pharmaceutical companies and drug cartels with a nice tone. But the problems with the movie are: the story is convoluted and the jokes aren’t funny. It goes all over the place with the drugs and the guns and the kidnapping.
Oyelowo gives a charming performance as Harold in the way he struggles with the outcomes of his situations, especially with his bosses betraying him. And those bosses are played nicely by Edgerton and Theron.
The casting and tone is what I liked about “Gringo.” The rest I couldn’t relate to. At times, I had no idea what the Hell they were talking about, and at times, I was bored. I wouldn’t mind checking out some scenes again, but this was too much.