Just in time for the holidays, like a little present from the universe, comes a trailer for Gringo, a movie starring Sharlto Copley. I love Sharlto Copley, and he is not in nearly enough movies to satisfy me, which would be all the movies. Sharlto Copley should be in all the movies. He is delightful. (You know what would be AMAZING? If Taika Waititi and Sharlto Copley made a movie together.) Lainey emailed me about this trailer last night and I went straight to CAPITAL LETTERS. Because it’s a Sharlto Copley movie.
It is also a Charlize Theron movie, and also David Oyelowo, and frankly, I can’t remember Oyelowo doing a movie like this. I first noticed him in Jack Reacher, and mostly his output seems pretty serious and dignified, but Gringo looks anything but serious and dignified. Maybe he just needed to do a fun one before buckling down and doing nine historical biopics in a row. Frankly, this is a great looking cast—Gringo also stars Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, and Thandie Newton, and I spy Alan Ruck right off the top. Seriously good looking ensemble. And with Theron and Copley, it’s got both the famous-actor South Africans.
You would think this movie, given its ensemble, would come from a big name director like Seth Rogen or a producer like Judd Apatow, but it’s from Joel Edgerton’s brother, Nash, who is also a director. And Nash is a stunt guy, too, so I expect the action scenes to be f*cking crisp in Gringo. What’s in the trailer looks good, but there’s nothing too out of the ordinary here. Not that every action movie has to be John Wick—although it’s good to have goals—but when a director spends most of his on-camera time in the stunt ranks, I have expectations. The bar is high, after all, John Wick comes from stunt-men-turned-directors, too.
But Gringo also looks funny. The red band trailer doesn’t add much except profanity, which is actually a good sign. If a comedy trailer is only funny in the red band version, it means the jokes aren’t so good. Profanity is emphasis, not punchline, so jokes should work even when edited for a general audience, and the green band version of the Gringo trailer is just as funny as the red band. Maybe they’re showing us all the best jokes, but I hope not. I feel like we’re going to need some good laughs to get through 2018.
One thing, though, is that this is yet another movie with a go-to-Mexico-and-get-kidnapped plot. This would not be a problem if we ever got to see movies set in Mexico that AREN’T about people getting kidnapped, but this is now the second studio comedy about someone getting kidnapped in Mexico (following Snatched). And that’s on top of all the “Mexico is a f*cked up place” movies like Sicario and its sequel, Soldado (I refuse to acknowledge the official title of that movie, which is terrible). Plus there’s an entire sub-genre of low budget exploitation movies set in Mexico. We need more than this view of Mexico—we need more stuff like Coco. It’s a huge country, there’s a lot going on. Not all of it is a six o’clock news disaster.
NSFW red band trailer:
Green band trailer: