‘Gringo’ a no-go

T.A. MORELAND | 3/15/2018, 3:59 p.m.
The blows just keep landing: Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) isn’t a boxer. He’s a kind, nerdy businessman who finds out ...
'Gringo'

The blows just keep landing. Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) isn’t a boxer. He’s a kind, nerdy businessman who finds out that everyone he trusts—his wife (Thandie Newton), boss (Joel Edgerton) and colleague (Charlize Theron)—have it in for him. Each disappointment is like another punch to his stomach. The pharmaceutical company he works for has to clean up its act because it’s about to be sold. Their products, which are made in Mexico, are being sold both legally and illegally. When they try to stop the criminal part of their enterprise, the Mexican drug lords aren’t willing to end the lucrative partnership. Harold finds himself right in the middle of the

dangerous mess.

“Gringo” doesn’t work for multiple reasons. Although Oyelowo does his job playing the very sympathetic naïve character and Edgerton is sufficiently sleazy as his boss, the rest of the cast just falls flat, with both Theron and Newton individually and jointly unimpressive in their roles.

The story starts strongly but loses its fizzle, like an uncorked bottle of Champagne. In the beginning the viewers meet Harold and share his pain. Then the story unwinds into a boring where-is-this-going-but-actually-I-really don’t-care kind of a mode. Amanda Seyfried also stars as a wayward young woman who travels with her boyfriend to Mexico and has multiple encounters with Harold. That aspect of the film adds nothing and even seems out of place in the overall story.

Two plusses for “Gringo” are its cinematography and cast diversity. Camera shots are very creative, and this film has about as diverse a cast as you’ll see.

“Gringo” is rated “R” for language throughout, violence and sexual content, and is 110 minutes in length. And it is dead on arrival and not worth your time.