Sunday, September 30, 2012

How I Spent My Summer Vacation / Get The Gringo

Year: 2012
Director: Adrian Grunberg
Cast: Mel Gibson, Kevin Hernandez, Dolores Heredia, Peter Stormare

Plot: A guy who just robbed a mob boss of a huge sum of money gets caught by Mexican police and sent to El Pueblito, an awful prison where the inmates live there like it was home. There, he learns how to survive with the help of a young boy while figuring out how to escape and get his money back.

Review: Why didn't they just stick with the title Get The Gringo no matter where this is released? Anyway, this film marks the return of Mel Gibson after all the controversy that he's created for himself in the media.

Vacation is reminiscent of Payback, one of Gibson's old crime thrillers, where he's playing a guy very similar to this one. His narration of the film is the best part, where he says things like "Is this a prison or the world's shittiest mall?" when talking about the place he's been sent to. Using great observation and a little help from a young Mexican kid (who smokes haha), Gibson manages to survive while learning about who's important in that prison and how to get leverage.

Gibson is in fine form here, being a very likable guy despite being essentially a criminal. He shares great chemistry with the kid, played by Kevin Hernandez. Their conversations, ranging from hilarious to downright serious, are mostly meaningful.

However, I walked into this film expecting an action piece, and I didn't quite get that here, which disappointed me a bit. Other than a car chase and a couple of shootouts, there isn't much action here. I guess I should have expected that since Gibson isn't Martin Riggs anymore, but still, some more excitement would have been nice.

Overall I'd say it's an averagely entertaining crime thriller, which thankfully has Gibson's screen presence to give it some credibility, and a smart script to back it up. If you're expecting anything more, you're not going to get it. (3/5) 

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