The Films of Nash Edgerton
Gringo (March 7/18)
Gringo casts David Oyelowo as Harold Soyinka, a meek businessman who finds himself caught up in all manner of illicit activity during a seemingly routine work trip to Mexico - with the busy narrative detailing the various complications that ensue among a series of supporting characters (including Joel Edgerton's Richard, Charlize Theron's Elaine, and Amanda Seyfried's Sunny). Director Nash Edgerton, working from a script by Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone, delivers a less-than-involving opening stretch that's predominately preoccupied with laying groundwork for what's to come, with the heavy-on-exposition atmosphere paving the way for a somewhat hands-off midsection that prevents one from wholly connecting to the central character's plight. The viewer does, as a result, spend much of the movie's first half waiting patiently for things to start to fall into place, and it's ultimately clear that Tambakis and Stone's excessively busy screenplay, which is littered with somewhat uninvolving subplots and diversions, could and should have been seriously streamlined (ie there's not a whole lot of momentum at work here). The simultaneously meandering and convoluted vibe is admittedly alleviated by a strong cast and a smattering of compelling sequences, and yet Gringo, by the time everything is said and done, culminates in a conclusion that's hardly able to justify the ineffectiveness of most of what came before - which is disappointing, certainly, given the potential of the story at the movie's core.